CHOICE CUT- El_Txef_A ‘Slow Dancing In A Burning Room’


El_Txef_A / Slow Dancing In A Burning Room

CD / Digital 

Fiakun / Released March 2012

Despite us not being massive fans of artist names that you can’t pronounce such problems become significantly smaller when matched with perhaps the most appropriate album title we’ve seen this year. Because Mr Txef_A’s album is both danceable, and rather melancholy.

At times- take Breath for example- it does kind of feel like you should be watching some twisted scene depicting a party in slow motion as the walls and curtains are set ablaze. Sombre atmospheres meet house grooves and baritone vocals. Fans of Hercules and Love Affair take note then (as with Rise and Fall), but it’s not all so easy to categorise.

A Place To Fall Apart is a spellbinding piano-led opener that belongs more in the How To Dress Well and James Blake camp of post-R&B electronic downbeats than any camp nu-disco canon, and does this with some skill. Even the minute-or-so-long interlude Out, which similarly focuses on the ivories (albeit this time without a hint of drum work), manages to conjure some emotion, despite its short lifespan, and In, which follows on the album, showcases this sound best of all, sounding like classic electro break melded with deep soul lyricism.

Aside from such stripped, notably sparse offerings there’s also a decent supply of ‘bigness’ here too. Feeling Idiot does a similar job to Scuba’s Everybody from last year, going straight for the jugular with big room e-funk vibes, looped vocals and stabbing keyboards; all very retro, but in a particularly enjoyable way. And Lovely Minds sounds more like the something hip hop legend Jay Dilla might produce; all warm afternoon BBQ tones and heartfelt chorus samples. Interesting stuff from the Spaniard responsible, we’ll certainly be keeping a close eye on his profile in future.

El_Txef_A / What People Play