Album Only

Let Me Love & Steal

Avalon Emerson

Spring Theory
ST003 | 2014-10-27  
After its initial string of records, Spring Theory is back with its third release of the year: The record is Let Me Love & Steal, the latest EP from Avalon Emerson. In the past few months, Emerson has moved from San Francisco to Berlin and has taken in her new environment's vibrant club culture, and it shows. But this four-tracker is a far cry from the dark industrial clichés that typify foreign expectations of the German capital. Instead, her cuts here carry an undertone of playful sampling that balance out the sheer power and energetic intensity of her rhythmic drive ¿ aka it's a full EP's worth of hard-hitting house music with even more of her idiosyncratic flair.

The A1 is the EP's namesake, "Let Me Love & Steal," and it's her heaviest cut to date, picking up with a similar sample-driven heft as her past two releases. Though it's tempting, don't try to spot the sample, instead just ease in and immerse yourself in the euphorically freaky collision of its razor-sharp hi-hats, laser beams, booming kick drums, and mind-warpingly ambiguous vocals. Slip the needle over to A2 and you'll find "Let Me Love & Steal (Triple Scorpio Mix)," a stripped down retooling of the original that rounds the vocal sample into a wash of contorting sonic colors that lets the percussion come forward and take center stage. Incorporating a little more techno propulsion, it transforms itself halfway through into a hard shot of energy, with swung snares and chunky stabs that crash through the mix. Both versions are energetic bombs designed for dancefloors in the throes of a sweaty and full-throttle towel-on-the-shoulders workout.

Flip the record over and you get "Honest Gangster," a crunchy and jacking follow-up to "Quoi!" that features a surreal spoken word vocal delivery from Spring Theory label head Guillaume Galuz...though he didn't know it until after the track was made (as it turns out, voicemails can be great sample sources). His presence brings the track a degree of absurdity, but it's Avalon's thrashing bassline and spaced-out synthesizer arpeggios that drives the point home. Here too it's all about intensity, albeit with a softer and dreamier vibe that's good for cooling off a little when you still want to keep the energy high. Finally, switch to the B2 for "Honest Gangster (Arpapella)," which rips out the rhythm and samples and lets the arp float freely through a healthy amount of spaced-out and trippy delay. If you're looking for a break (or something to start or end your set with) it's exactly what you're looking for. Add it all up, and you have an extremely versatile dancefloor focused EP that's ready for prime time, no matter what time that is.

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