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Tel Aviv’s AUTARKIC lands on Turbo with an excellent new-wave inspired EP, backed by a killer remix from compatriots RED AXES.
Following a debut EP on Golf Channel in 2015, Autarkic aka Nadav Spiegel has risen in status alongside his close friends and collaborators Red Axes and Moscoman. His recent debut LP for Mosco’s red-hot Disco Halal has garnered critical acclaim, including a 4/5 review on Resident Advisor. Spiegel clearly has a rare talent as a songwriter, crafting the kind of intelligent, left-field pop music that one usually has to look back to the avant-garde of the 1980s to find. It’s an influence Autarkic not only wears well – he seems legitimately to be of another place and time. The sound is never pastiche, even as it recalls the character and mood of familiar classics, perhaps because it’s filtered, inevitably, through the fractured prism of middle eastern culture.
If things were more downtempo, experimental and psych rock on his first EPs, these tracks for Turbo point squarely at the dance-floor, and have been staples in the sets of not only Moscoman and Red Axes, but in the other rising stars of the underground Israeli scene around labels like Malka Tuti and Fortuna records, as well as the global groove empire developing around Turbo A&R Thomas Von Party’s Multi Culti.
It’s a stunning record, with substance, character, and style. The arrangements are especially strong, each song building in a way that feels exceedingly rare in dance music, in every case the second half elements come together in just the right way to surprise you, even make you fall in love. The somber vocals and unadorned production are just rough enough to make the unexpectedly beautiful twists and emotive flourishes call your attention and keep you hooked.
For those that still need convincing, there’s also a slamming Red Axes remix, as if those guys need any introduction. An unexpected and welcome return for Tiga’s venerable label.