REVIEW Massiande ‘Dancing Is Life EP’ [Freerange Records]

There’s a Chilean artist who is definitely in the ascendency right now; that artist is Massiande, who’s impressed with a flurry of wonderful deepness in the last few years, pricking up the ears of a certain Jimpster and leading to this luxurious four-track release for the legendary Freerange Records label. As house EPs go, this is something of a timeless release, which could have very easily been released at almost any time in the last 30 years and not have sounded out of place, whichever time it was unleashed to the world.

This is hugely evident on the EP opener and title track of the EP, featuring the delicious spoken words of Detroit-based poet, Diamondancer. The percussive elements and shimmering keys and sultry bass echo deeper moments on classic 90s labels such as Peacefrog, Guidance or Prescription, the groove glides along giving the listener a warmth of feeling and a message in the music. To quote Diamondancer directly: “…dancing is elevation, expression shared…”, truthful words spoken over a fantastically executed 5 minutes and 46 seconds of pure deep joy. 

Next up is Here Comes The House Music, perhaps the toughest of the tracks on display here; the vocal refrain of the title is repeated in sections through the track, while the nagging pads filter up and down as the track rolls along, heavy percussive elements working as the backbone to the vibe. Again, this has a little nod to the mid-late 90s, but not in a cheesy/flashback way, simply utilising powerful percussion and keys, with the vocal added to a build-up two-thirds into the track, when the vibe kicks into full effect. This is one solid workout.

Track three welcomes I Feel It to the speakers, this is a no-nonsense House outing; stabby chords flowing beneath the skippy drums and rounded bassline, the vocal of the title being pitched up and down through the track. 

Rounding the EP off is the supremely brilliant Focus. Punchy bass rides along the kick and snare pattern, delayed synths and reverb pads coming together to create a perfect synthesis of sounds. If you have danced at a nightclub playing ‘real House music’ at any time between the late 80s and now, you will have heard music like this – no attempt to be ‘cool’ or ‘current’ is necessary, simply being ‘beautifully brilliant and deep’ means this EP comes to a close with a reminder of just how absolutely fantastic deeper-ended House music can be. A genuinely excellent EP for any DJ wanting to keep things absolutely and 100% real.

Massiande Dancing Is Life EP is released on Freerange Records on December 9th. 

Words by Al Bradley   

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