Urulu – Metroid

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Californian artist Urulu has been putting out a continuous stream of punchy EPs since 2012. For the most part, these have been comprised of peak-time house tracks, all made for dancing and – for those who keep up with his output – always stylistically recognisable.

The latest to the pile is Metroid on US-based These Things Take Time – self-described as ‘born from the cultures of Chicago and Philedelphia’, and a name still relatively unheard of.

“Metroid” is the opener; its first few seconds introducing those ‘recognisable’ production elements referred to earlier – a pulsating dubby heartbeat and delicate harmonic chords. As things progress, unique synth melodies tease their way in and out, as does a futuristic spoken vocal sample.

And the beat goes on, as track 2 – “Polaris” – follows suit without hesitation. Layer on layer of spacey synths command attention, as do the forceful and sometimes tonal percussive lines. A descending vocal sample provides an extra textural component to another rich and enveloping Urulu production, full of syncopation and impossible to stand still to.

“Static Dancer” is the heaviest of the bunch. The drum machines show no mercy, and chords cascade in over the top along with intermittent unique melodic riffs that each make a considered appearance. Nods to the origins of this realm of dance music are transformed to result in a modern, future-looking aesthetic.

The last track “Orbital” rounds things off tastefully but is pretty hard to distinguish from the track that came before it – incorporating most of the same elements to the same effect, perhaps a few degrees subtler.

Each track on the EP does offer much the same thing in terms of BPM and overall mood – meaning this release doesn’t leave a lasting impact in the same way that others have (compare with his most recent Foreign Depths and Minor Forms). That isn’t to say this is a bad 25 minutes of dance music. Indeed, you can’t really go wrong with 25 minutes of well produced peak-time groove. Urulu always knows what he’s doing.