The Ride

by Protassov

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about

Journeying through the surreal No Man’s Land between percussive electronica and ambient funk, The Ride is relaxing and unsettling in equal measures. For the DJ/dancefloor there is Protassov’s signature dominant beat throughout: heavy, upfront and uncompromising. The melodies are constructed from a bewildering array of sources – including live instruments - with a structure that demands repeated and careful listening. This is electronic dance music as fine art.

What makes this EP fascinating is the attention to detail. The choice of samples and sounds is elaborate and unexpected. The obsessive processing of each noise reveals Protassov’s microscopic fascination with the parameters of engineering. And throughout, there is a hyper-sensitivity to the precise balance between the weight of the beat and the finesse of the melodies.

The EP opens on deceptively familiar territory. “At The Freakshow” comes in hard with a grinding, slow electro break; the crunchy snare funks things up nicely. As it progresses, however, the ecstatic synths, glitching soul samples and edge-of-ear arpeggios turn this groovy tune into an unnerving and distinctly trippy experience.

Slowing things down for “Dance Like That”, Protassov offsets ambient synth waves with jittery notes and hints of drill. Somewhere in the far distance an old skool rave sample screams its way towards us until it bursts in the room, staggering the mashed ravers into action, before Protassov returns them to the womb of the mellow.

The opening grimy synths of “March of 100” and its insistent hiphop beat do not prepare us for a mystical prog rock evolution. Suddenly we are riding on a magic carpet out to some smoky souk in Cairo. Before we know it, the vision has dissolved like a hit of hashish in a lunch-break. Protassov’s finely-tuned engineering of the guitar in this track reveals his long love affair with the instrument.

“The Ride” begins like a dusty rip of a long-lost gramophone record, before a fog-horn baritone sax pulls us down underwater. We’re at a live jam session at an old blues bar at the bottom of the sea, with the reverb set to “abyss”. Protassov pulls us back to the surface with some crisp snare-driven breaks, until drunken synth lines emerge to duel with the sax and to send us back to the deep. The sax player on this track is cabaret virtuoso Andreas Booter, improvising live on the beat with no edit.

On “It’s OK!” we stay dusty and analogue. A hypnotic xylophone drips melancholy; a rainy walk in the park in alienation-land. A siren voice promises warm illusions, but the beat keeps us out walking in the cold.

The last track is a minimalist, musical statement of unmistakable regret. Protassov’s simple guitar notes are achingly intimate, underpinned by a repeated minor piano chord - the ticking of a clock that cannot be turned back. “We Solve Problems Later” indeed…

This set is a deep listening experience with powerful rhythms and moments of gratifying emotional intensity. Protassov has spent long in the studio and it shows - the tracks reward total immersion to experience each and every detail. They are the statements of a musician, crafted obsessively. So set aside your consciousness, dust off your boots and get ready for… The Ride.

credits

released March 6, 2020

Produced by Protassov.

All tracks written and composed by Stefan Fuss Sander, except track 4 written and composed by Stefan Fuss Sander & Andreas Böther.

Saxophon on track 4 by Andreas Böther.

Marimba on track 5 by Stefan Krause.

Cover Painting by Beata Berger.

SRDR 043

P & C 2020 Switchstance Recordings

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Switchstance Recordings Köln, Germany

The label's creed and therefore the style of its producers and DJs is to have ultimate freedom, whether in their musical movements or in "switching" between various styles. The aim of the label is to combine early musical influences such as Funk, Jazz, Latin, 90´s Hip Hop and Reggae with the most progressive techniques of electronic music production.

"Quality Grooves since 2001"
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