, - on 19/3/09
It’s tough rolling with a gang when you’re not quite their equal. Where the big boys stand out and push the group forward, so do the minions lurk in the shadows. Such is the stride that Spaniards Alex Under, Tadeo & Damián Schwartz have hit, the promise that they show. And while José Cabrera, aka Kasper, is far from being a sycophantish ward of these three, he clearly has much to learn from the Rat Pack he’s found himself in, especially if his latest release Morning Comes on Cyclical Tracks is anything to go by.
”Untitled One” gets going with a druggy bassline and a fairly stock standard kit, set to syncopate-lite. Eventually a vocal sample puts its hand tentatively up with a typical house stab – far too late in the mix – that looks to Drumpoet Community as inspiration. All in all though, its somewhat forgettable: you get the impression that Cabrera’s decision to leave the track unnamed stemmed from just how anonymous it sounds overall. “Morning Comes” proves to be more urgent, drawn out as it is. The keys are shoulders-forward and the samples this time are hypnotic and compelling. Again though, it could be a bit of a white flag played out. In fact, “Morning Comes” illustrates the predicament more clearly: Kasper knows what elements a tune needs, but deploys them with the confidence of a lunchless school boy.
And so it is down to Tadeo to save the day. His take on “Untitled One” is confident and full of purpose. Tadeo loses the stabs for a squawky synth that complements the tougher mood perfectly. As with Damián Schwartz’s remix of “Davai Davai,” the result is a tune that sounds revised by a pro, much like a high school essay rewritten by a grad student.
That the originals both have all the traits of what’s trendy at the moment is both Cabrera’s stilt and his crutch: what’s in vogue will get pressed, but what’s got chutzpah will get played. Let’s hope Kasper can pick this up from the talent he sits next to in class for the future.
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