VA: Friends Two EP

Those familiar with the work Yair Etziony issues under his own name and as a Faction member might be surprised to learn that he also issues clubby house tracks under the Vermont name. Based on the high quality of the material on the Friends Two EP (released by the Berlin label Freizeitglauben), one wishes the Tel Aviv-based producer and ambassador for the Israeli electronic music scene would do so more often. Situated halfway between Perlon and Yore, the EP presents hard-swinging house cuts powered by throbbing bass lines and speckled with electronic accents and samples.

The opening track,“Togo,” a collaboration between Vermont and fellow DJ Sola (Shlomi Avn, with whom Etziony operates as Basic Unit), gets moving with a clockwork tech-house swing before moving into a tastier house-heavy episode where a bubbly bass deepens the track's funk feel. Soon after, the house groove plunges deeper, paving the way for voice snippets and bell accents to seep into the mix. A mid-song breakdown gives the spotlight to stuttering bells and other percussion before the track dusts itself off and continues on its merry way one more time. Strong too if a tad less ambitious are the two solo Vermont tracks that follow: “Spirit Of Florentin,” a bubbly deep house outing spattered with synthetic splinters and a recurring vocal shout-out, and the heavily-atmospheric “Summer Is Over,” which delivers more of the same kind of delicious bounce. André Gardeja's smart enough to know better than to delete the original's bass pulse in his “Ironic Togo Rmx” though it doesn't stop him from clothing the pumping track in an elaborate criss-cross of vocal snippets that goes far beyond Vermont's original treatment. The EP material's so good, one wishes Etziony would issue a full-length of similar material.

September 2009