Bitter Earth Dub is a two track EP released on Sven Vath’s Cocoon recordings and highlights the work of Dewalta and Alex & Digby in two separate tracks.
Alex & Digby’s "Citadel" sees unconventional samples placed in a minimal rhythmic pattern. When I refer to “minimal”, I am referring to minimal house genres popularized by international DJs such as Zip, Ricardo Villalobos, and the whole Romanian minimal outfit (Raresh, Rhadoo) as well as locally by Ahmed Samy, Zeina, Aroussi - not the the genre dubbed “Minimal” by the online store Beatport which features something more commercial with a different aesthetic.
The pads emit a warm and hopeful chord progression which caresses the rhythms, intertwined by a melody with an offbeat rhythm creating an interesting rhythmic dissonance. The sound design is exemplary here, the producer places all these diverse elements from his sound palette while still being able to create space in the mix for the mind to breathe.
The title track "Bitter Earth Dub" is a more dynamic piece; with melodic elements and a method of composition resembling deeper house. This sound that merges minimal rhythms with deep house melodies takes the best from both worlds. As the title suggests, "Bitter Earth Dub" has a darker feel than the hopeful "Citadel," with mysterious melodies drenched in reverb, a rather growly bass line and a spooky analog delay creating a strong sense of abstract movement.
In minimal, they create a base and then elegantly spread rhythmic elements across time, never stuffing too much of one sound and letting the groove breathe naturally in a hypnotically and meditatively repetitive way. Many people argue that this trending minimal sound might sound too “dry” and honestly that might even be one of the pillars of its aesthetic; but here, all of the producers on the EP are able to utilize the class of minimal rhythms while still injecting soul through melody and harmony; something rarely found in this sound. This progressive and forward thinking EP will surely work well in different situations and I personally can’t wait to see the reaction it will get on the dance floor.