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Unset (InFiné)

is the musical nom de plume of multi-instrumentalist Gregory
Hoeppfner, and Unset is his fifth EP as Almeeva, third
for French label InFiné. Like the label’s recent explorations of
reinventing Detroit classics from Derrick May and Carl Craig with the
more lush arrangements of Francisco Tristano, Unset crosses over
between the more functional side of dance music and something more
emotive and elaborate, reminding me at times of the most emotionally
imbued material from Apparat, vocals and all. But with the exception
of “Some Revelation,” most of Unset is instrumental, and its
arrangements are plenty lyrical.

Unset by Almeeva

“Clense” is the first track and
might be my favorite, with its darker edge and insistent arp patterns
paired with the clatter of tiny cymbals and percussive flourishes.
It’s those details that remove it from the more limited paradigm of
purely utilitarian dance music and take the vibe somewhere different,
more dramatic and tense. “Thames” is built around a rolling,
swinging house beat in rather sharp contrast to the beatless respite
of “Arches” that follows. I was completely unprepared for the
startlingly elegant take on Haddaway’s “What Is Love” that rounds
out the release, a rather compelling chillwave interpretation of the
often-maligned 90s hi-nrg hit that otherwise is likely doomed to
associations with Night at the Roxbury. Those with an affinity to the
lusher side of dance music production ought to love the layered
arrangements of Unset, and I enjoy the variety tucked neatly within
its five tracks. Recommended.

Buy it: Bandcamp