Strip Steve: Delta Disco EP (Boys Noize)
Théo Pozoga is the brain behind chuggy electro-house project Strip Steve. It’s no surprise that his records are coming out on Boysnoize, the namesake label of perhaps the mother of all buzzy electro-house, Boys Noize. But despite Boys Noize’s high profile in this microcosm, I prefer the jaunty funk of Strip Steve. He manages to incorporate hooks in a way that Boys Noize never quite seems to muster, making the dancefloor appeal and headbobbing potential skyrocket in comparison. Much of Delta Disco is built up around looping manipulated samples, with opener “Breakin’” mostly operating around a vocal sample. But he lends a layer of sophistication on top of the basics that take it into a better place, in my opinion, not content to just plod along. He integrates an interesting major/minor chord progression that lends it a certain something. “AM/FM” has all sorts of references to 80s dance music (breakdancing electro, record scratching, radio noise) before it really gets going with his signature pumped up sound. What I like about these tracks is that Pozoga pushes into the red with compression and noise without it being too abrasive or overwhelming. The sound is brimming without being completely over-crowded, something my ears have gotten more sensitive to in recent past. “Dancin’” reminds me of the trackier French house from the 90s like old Thomas Bangalter records, but with a bit of a more current electrohouse slant in its buzzing and crazy sounds. The only track that falls short to my ears is “Children” and its overly repetitive samples without much of a real hook – it seems like a decent DJ tool but isn’t fully formed enough to carry as its own anthem for me. I like that “Point Break” closes things out with a slower tempo and a lighter hand, not shying away from melody or bright sounds atop its fuzzy electrohouse underbelly.