Tolga Fidan: Berg EP
New Kanada

Two fabulous club workouts (plus two ambient bonuses) round out this twelve-inch release of heady “micro-tribalism” from Turkish francophile artist Tolga Fidan on Adam Marshall's Toronto-based New Kanada imprint. “Berg” leaps to attention immediately with a tight drum groove kicking things into gear and a subtle bass pulse digging in too. With the beats solidly in place, two vocal parts, the first a sleepy one and the second more robust, enter one after the other, and, captivated by the vocal interplay, the listener almost overlooks the track's slow-build as its hypnotic, synth-kissed pulse motors its way towards a delirious crescendo. As strong as the opener, the B-side, “Old,” gets its bass-throbbing, hand-clapping shimmy on with dispatch and then confidently branches out with a series of off-beat percussive stabs that land in all the right places. Fidan's poly-rhythmic cut throws down for ten funky minutes, with sparse piano accompaniment and syncopated synth flourishes the icing on this particularly tasty cake.

While those two occupy the twelve's sides perfectly well, the digital release includes two brief, synth-heavy tracks, the first (“Dotdat”) a beatless space-ambient setting and the second (“Synthscraper”) a tad more rhythm-based and, as such, more reminiscent of a kosmische musik piece than an ambient one. Decent though they may be, the bonus tracks can't help but seem like afterthoughts when heard after the two primary cuts, so the vinyl purchaser shouldn't feel like he/she is missing out to any critical degree. “Berg” and “Old” are more than enough to earn the EP its recommendation.

March 2011