Robert Swart: Tiefenrausch EP (Morse Records)
I heard Robert Swart’s track “The Summer Blues” on a podcast mix by Martin Gore of Depeche Mode. It’s an unlikely track to wedge into a DJ set, with a half-tempo slow drum track, but it’s not surprising that Mr. Gore fixated on it… it has the same melancholy vibe that I associate with some of the more leftfield instrumental tracks that Depeche Mode has sprinkled throughout its discography. Swart labors a healthy attention to the details of it, with little effect flourishes and delay stutters that lend it polish. What’s curious about the more upbeat numbers on this EP is that neither of them has a bassline — just drums and melodic elements. Of the two, I prefer “Established,” which is not expected at all — its chunky claps and sprinkly tremolo lead are an unlikely pairing. Without a bassline, it really shouldn’t work at all, but it does, just right. I like that he’s more afraid to take chances creating music that works just as well at home as it might in a DJ set. He provides the challenge to DJs to integrate these tracks in clever ways, one that I’d like to take him up on sometime soon.