Premiere: A1 – RQZ – Sublevels [AFHR001]

UK entity Afterhours. have provided a platform for up and coming artists to showcase their sounds in what has become a respected podcast series in the underground house and techno scene. Three years have passed with almost 100 episodes featuring the likes of Balinsky, Niko Maxen, Kepler and Silat Beksi. The label is now evolving and on the cusp of its first release. Romania’s RQZ steps up to the plate.

This isn’t the first time we’ve had one from this guy. Check out ‘Abacus’ here, a deep and groove infused house beat over on Mr KS & Friends from a couple of years back. This time however the flavour is a little different, closer to home perhaps. ‘Sublevels’ is a powerful rendition of Rominimal.

The bassline forever feels like it’s building up to something, as if its part of a greater journey. This is essential ammo for those long, hypnotic sets that seduce listeners. The monotonic march in this one keeps the vibe cool. Spellbinding synths echo electric while samples take many forms making this mysterious and captivating. Short, warped vocals chatter alongside organic, animalistic sounds that could mimic unsavoury creatures from the depths.

Rolling chords interject intensifying the pulsating rhythms before a medley of samples mystify during the only major breakdown of the track. Less is more here and it’s made for its time and place; at the heart of a night brimming with Romanian sound. Which is exactly where it found itself at Sunwaves 26, courtesy of Petre Inspirescu.

‘Sublevels’ is accompanied on the B side by ‘Bleep Dialog’, a punchy, growling groove that matches its counterpart in punch whilst ‘Phobos’ provides lighter and more playful tones. All in all a nicely rounded EP that suits this genre down to the ground.

Buy the record at black.round.twelve from 1 May as well as Juno, Deejay.de, Yoyaku and all usual suspects.

More info on Afterhours.
Facebook | Soundcloud | Discogs

More info on RQZ
Facebook | Resident Advisor | Soundcloud | Bandcamp | Discogs