Steffi’s Dolly imprint has always leaned toward the deeper, more conscious strains of house and techno, in no way have its releases been undanceable, but they were certainly aimed at the heads. Listening back to Jared Wilson’s and Basic Soul Unit’s records is proof of that; each bolstered squelching basslines, mechanical stabs, and characteristically Detroit ambience. It’s not all that surprising considering the types of records Steffi plays and draws influences from, with that said, she’s not content to stay in that mold. This brings us to the launch of her sublabel, Dolly Dubs, and the inaugural release courtesy of Staffan Lindberg. His four-track “Art of the State” EP is a step in the “widen the spectrum” direction that she wishes to take the label.
Stream: Staffan Lindberg – Art of the State (Dolly Dubs)
From the beginning Staffan separates himself from other Dolly related artists by drawing on vocal samples along with the ever-resurging organ stab in “Art of the State”. Eventually this builds a bassline that corresponds with the organ stabs making this a track accessible on almost any dancefloor. There’s nothing particularly new here, but it is a step away from the more introspective music on the main label to upfront, unashamed house belters. “Boy” fits into the same template, relying on the echo of vocals repeating the word “boy” and glossy strings, which give the track a breezy, carefree feeling. Exactly when you’d expect it to a slinky bassline comes in to move the track along. One thing’s for sure, he definitely has a soft spot for delays since on “Gloom” he puts it to work again, most notably on the stabs and unintelligible vocal chop. On the final track “Ikarus” he goes for something slightly different slowing down the tempo and brining something that resembles an acid line into the mix. Still, he sticks to what he knows and what he presents on other tracks, in that it is still approachable and perfect for slower moments during a night. As a whole, Steffan crafted a killer record that shows us exactly what he’s interested in (at least for the moment) – making bodies move. Not only that, the record doesn’t have a single bad track and a DJ looking to save space in his (or her) record bag will get a satisfactory amount of bang for his (or her) buck.
Staffan Lindberg’s Art of the State is available now on Dolly Dubs.