The Milanese duo's latest, due tomorrow in the U.S. via Club Mod
With the latest release from Club Mod, it seems almost like parent label Modular Recordings is trying to make up for the interminable delay in that long-rumored second album from the Avalanches. But apart from being signed to the same label, the Australian group doesn't have anything to do with Cécile & Refleksie, a Milan-based duo whose members have previously recorded as Esperanza. The Avalanches' influence, however, is all over Cécile & Refleksie's sunny, psychedelic take on dance music. In "First Sparkle," a chorus cribbed from 1950s easy-listening dapples disco breaks and a snaky acid bass line like sunlight penetrating the heart of the rain forest. "Your Eyes," a Cécile solo joint, ventures even further in pursuit of woozy, tropical pleasures, kitting out moon-stomping dub riddims in scraps of acoustic folk imbued with the telltale warble of warped vinyl.
The EP is rounded out by remixes from Fred Cherry (Canyons' Ryan Grieve) and Sweden's tattooed disco deviant Axel Boman, co-founder of Studio Barnhus and a frequent guest on Axel Boman's Pampa label. Fred Cherry's remix of "First Sparkle" puts the song into overdrive, maximizing its soggy vocal samples, tossing in random snippets of movie dialogue and hip-hop scratching, and going hard on gated snares and copious reverb, like Arthur Baker gone Balearic (and with a serious case of sunstroke). Boman takes the opposite approach, trimming "First Sparkle" down to spindly funk guitar and skweee-inspired 8-bit keyboards, with a just a whisper of drum machine to keep the groove moving forward; it sounds a little like Isolée's classic 1998 anthem "Beau Mot Plage," but in miniature. It's tailor-made for parties that run long and get weird.
Cécile & Refleksie's First Sparkle EP is out tomorrow in the U.S.; listen to the full EP here now. (In the U.K. and Europe, the release comes out today.)