Retribution is Cromby’s latest release on Feel My Bicep, a fitting platform for the Irish beatmaker. From a six-year residency in his hometown of Belfast to moving to Berlin to cement his name, Cromby’s career is not one to be sniffed at.
With this latest release, Cromby has taken us from Belfast along to Berlin with him. The title track in particular feels as though it was birthed from the depths of Berghain itself and nursed by the club’s infamous bouncer Sven Marquardt. It is a floor-filler from the get-go, with the kick drum driving the track and the hi-hats spurring it on. It cradles you, and only lets you go when everything drops out, only to come back with double the energy and triple the bass, at which point you can’t help but run to the dance floor.
The B-side of the EP features two remixes of ‘Retribution’, one by fellow Irishman DeFeKt and one by NTS stalwart Shanti Celeste. DeFeKt’s reimagining highlights the true filth of the bass line, before going into a breakdown that floats you up before bringing you crashing back down to earth when the rhythm section comes back in.
Shanti Celeste’s ‘Chill Mix’ is a breath of fresh air, and exactly the contrast that this EP needs to show the range and depth of the titular track. Celeste injects her staple style of jangly, floating hooks and water-drop beats into Cromby’s club-oriented bange, as if she’s just turned up in the middle of a sweaty rave, lit some incense and managed to get the dancefloor embracing each other in a group hug. It is testament to Celeste’s skills that she brings light into the windowless club basement with her production.
“What, just one track?!” will surely be the reaction from most listeners. This is an EP that leaves you gasping for more.