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Ross From Friends : Maestro of Electro !

By Smaël Bouaici |

His second EP You’ll Understand, released in 2016 on Distant Hawaii, a sub-division of the London label Lobster Theremin (spearhead of lo-fi house) and his melancholic yet rousing track Talk To Me You’ll Understand made it clear: Ross From Friends has gold at his fingertips!

He has spent his time over the past two years fine-tuning the tiniest details for this 50-minute album that is sure to satisfy those who have fallen for the charm of his silky house, as well as ensure him a new base of devout fans.

Ross From Friends’ music is somehow addictive, as confirmed by Thank God I’m A Lizard, a shamanic house with Pink Floyd-like guitars, while Wear Me Down sounds more fluid and reminiscent of the Argentine Ernesto Ferreyra and Luciano's sweaty dancefloor label Cadenza. In addition to the hypnotic aspect of his minimal techno, Ross From Friends adds an extra touch of soul, drawn from his family history. His parents were keen travellers, the kind of Englishmen to roam around Europe in the 80s with a sound system to diffuse the first electronic experiments (hi-NRG, italo-disco…).

The Knife offers a kind of soulful synth-pop that plunges us straight back into the atmosphere of the 80s, before he switches up the BPM for the techno track Project Cybersyn. "Every time I started working on a song, I was immediately caught up in the most emotional aspect of things," he explains. It's certainly one of the most important parts of the work around the album, trying to tap into those emotions, that emotional instability." This approach is reminiscent of that of another British producer of the new generation, Leon Vynehall, who built his latest album Nothing Is Still around the history of grandparents with an equally moving result.

The superb track Parallel Sequence and its breakbeats also show that the Englishman is not fixated on the kick and that, unlike so many others, he does not put the drum machine at the centre of his music. It would be difficult to define a rotary axis, as his songs seem to emanate from an idea, from a concept. The rest of the album is just as bewitching, and we let ourselves be carried from one end of the twelve tracks to the other in this cotton blanket that Ross From Friends has wrapped us in. It's only summer, but this is probably already one of the albums of the year and for sure a perfect Qobuzissime record.


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