MEOKO reviews: Kelpe - Monte Verità


The next artist to see a release on DBA Dubs comes from London based Kel McKeown – AKA Kelpe. An artist with a real passion for experimentation and back catalogue to support that, he’s a fitting subject for Semtek’s Don’t Be Afraid offshoot, which specialises in leftfield house music with a UK vibe. The format of the sublabel is a neat one: take a dub from a UK based producer, and compliment it with a techno-tinged remix on the flip of a 10” record, provided this time by Detroit’s Kevin Reynolds.

Sparse, thickset percussion couples a tension building, arp-style synth crescendo to kick things off. Kelpe continues in this way for the entirety of the sixty-four bar intro, before letting loose with a killer analogue bassline. It’s this weighty groove that leads the way for the remaining four minutes, drenching the track in a fuzzy warmth that takes you to another place with headphones, but will absolutely destroy a dance floor when played on a big system. Kevin Reynolds puts his own take on things, adding a slightly darker undertone combined with an acid line that is somehow more fluid than the original cut, washing over sizzling hats to great effect.

It’s some of Kelpe’s best work to date, suggesting no signs of stopping after the critical acclaim of his fourth album ‘Fourth: The Golden Eagle’. It’s a great addition to a label which not only has had a consistent output since its inception, but also a solid ethos – something that seems to be helping them to stand apart from the masses, and which will be interesting to keep an eye on as time goes on. 



Words: James Ellis