Lithuanian trio Phonic Scoupe burst onto the scene last year with a cluster of remixes and an original track for Stripped Recordings. That has laid the groundwork for today’s release, the ‘Love & Hate’ EP, which sees Phonic Scoupe kick off the entire StrippedMuzikClub family’s 2014 release schedule with three genre-shredding cuts, each of which plays in different measures with ideas and sounds from deep-, tech-, and progressive-house.
The title track is the hardest hitting and darkest of the three, with firing percussion driving a brooding groove. A number of well-placed breakdowns see the track rise to fever pitch, before dropping straight back into it. This is a really well constructed piece of tech-house that looks set to do a lot of damage.
‘Love in Space’ has similar DNA, but it’s got a slightly more melodic edge to it. A churning bassline and squelchy background play host to invigorating but not overused sirens, and overlapping insistent, driving synth line. It doesn’t change all that much over its running time, but it wisely doesn’t overstay its welcome, clocking out at the seven minute mark after a satisfying series of peaks and troughs.
The third and final track is ‘Aliens in My Bed’, which lower the tempo a few BPM and immediately builds a really liquid sound, with a chunky bassline soon joined by additional lovely bass twangs, gently alternating notes floating in the background, and mournful synth wails. A gentle motif builds into a really lovely moment during the breakdown, where the some chord changes lightens the track for a moment before things pick up again.
This EP sees Phonic Scoupe serving up three distinctive and superbly-crafted tracks that exude quality and confidence. It’s hard to pick a standout, though the flip side of that is that none of the tracks on the EP comes anywhere close to letting the others down. This is a terrific start to 2014 from Stripped, and it marks Phonic Scoupe down as ones to watch this year for sure. 8/10