Saine – Act Natural

7

Hailing from Finland and bolstering Helsinki’s busy electronic music scene with his brand of jazzy, silky-smooth house, Saine has treated us with a new EP, Act Natural, released on London-based label Delusions of Grandeur, whose recent output features stellar releases from German funksters Session Victim and disco-remix wizard Aroop Roy.

The EP kicks off with “Act Natural”, packing a punchy, straight-to-the-point bassline, hammered home with razor-sharp percussion and lush, almost-melancholic synth chords. It’s a dizzying combination, which simultaneously implores your body to dance with urgency, whilst coaxing your mind to transcend into a deep, emotional contemplation. It’s a perfect addition to the record collections of fans of early Leon Vynehall or fellow Helsinkian Trevor Deep Jr, embodying the same luscious, soulful vibes throughout. He treads similar ground on “Low Key”, which is as its name implies; a chilled-out, simple house groove that’s pleasant for headphone listening, but unfortunately lacks some of the character of the title track.

Saine takes a more left-field approach on “Jus’ Right”, with quirky, off-kilter melodies and an intriguingly uneasy atmosphere created through the assortment of crooning soul vocals, wispy Moog synths and choppy guitar rhythms. It’s similar in construction and sound to some of his previous releases, such as “Technique” or “Drifter”, although here we see an artist trying to push a boundary or two, creating some rich melodic textures without relying on a steady house beat to fall back on.

Remix duties are satisfyingly fulfilled by Detroit DJ Pontchartrain’s version of “Jus’ Right”. He brings the track to life with an injection of some lethal cymbals atop the vocal sample of Saine’s original, further chopped and extended here to great effect. The addition of strings, evoking Soul Central’s remix of Derrick May’s classic “Strings of Life”, rounds off the track as the EP’s most dancefloor-ready groover. It’s a solid end to the release, and whilst every track may not be a showstopper, overall Saine has still managed to showcase a solid, eclectic offering of house. It’s clear to see why he’s in such high demand.