Music Review: Artmann - Understatement EP [Modula Records]

Edinburgh based Modula Records strikes back with its fifth release which comes from Dutch golden boy Artmann. Since its foundation, which dates back to 2 years ago with the very successful MR001 VA (among which we can find the first-ever Rossi. track), the label has always preferred to release few but quality EPs. In fact, the following 3 EPs have involved upcoming talents including Akyra, Ray Mono, Jerome C, Gregg Dunsmore and Blackdub, receiving support from the likes of tINI, Jamie Jones, Paolo Rocco, Seth Troxler, Yaya and wAFF to name a few. MRF005 arrives from Amsterdam with the nasty Understatement EP from local rising talent Artmann, here able to express his deep-techy vision with three massive originals.



Click HERE to buy Understatement EP


Opener "Understatement" starts off with groove and good feelings, showing precisely what Artmann has used us to with his previous releases on Rendr, Whoyostro and TBX. Kick stings precise and cuts the mix, while tight drums alternate swingy on top and small vocal chops give an extra dose of grooviness to the entire piece. Bass is rolling and rubbery, almost feels it grips to the other elements and pulls them with it. Here, the Dutchman is able to achieve a smooth pumping effect that really helps your feet moving. The flawless arrangement puts everything at its place, one can feel the very logical order in which parts are thought of.


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Next up, "God Jam It" digs deeper, moving towards a more classic house vibe. After an initial breakbeat moment, the tune back on track with the 4/4 structure, leaving to sharp drums the chance to shine at their best. Kick and bass shake the bottom. Analog pads and stabs create a gentle and flowing harmonic layer, sidechain and wise compression make it spot on in the overall mix. The continuous shift between breakbeat and straight phases is made to perfection and adds a note of interest to a very well-rounded track. The combination between a female (super housey!) and a male vocal samples its the cherry on the cake as it fits so well with the 90s lead on the drops as well as the whole funky mood of the track.




B-side stuff with the more stripped back "Too Many Records", as Artmann went for very tight drums and solid low-end section. The whole piece is held together by the incredible bass hook which cannot leave the listener steady. On this one, we find fewer pads and stabs so that drums and rhythmic elements are the main actors on stage. Each groove element sound super sharp and clean break on the decay makes of the track a real dancefloor stomper, also with the help of a subtle acid line. The track has a massive impact and its harsh sound perfectly fits the general idea. Listen to "Too Many Records" from start to end to properly appreciate microvariations and fills spread throughout the track.



Words by Francescco Quieti & Francesco Zambianchi