It’s been a little over a year since we’ve heard anything from Protect-U, but after having a few listens to their new “Motorbike EP” on Planet Mu we’ve concluded that it was worth the wait. The duo is made up of Mike Petillo aka Mondo, who is also one half of Future Times, and Aaron Leitko. From day one their music has possessed a laidback, summertime vibe centered around polyrhythms and mind bending synths that light up the mix. Like many of the artists who run in this circle, their music possesses a DIY, jam out vibe with the end result being honest and gritty house music. Following the same path as their last two releases, the “Motorbike EP” is straightforward party time music with a bit of an 80s edge.
The opener “Motorbike” reels you in with an infectious bassline while slowly adding parts of 707 to it. By the time the kick drum makes its way into the track it sounds slightly off beat, which isn’t really a problem and gives it more character. The guys at Planet Mu appropriately describe the strings as psychedelic and we totally agree; the strings feed off of the dipping pads, so that just as something needs to change they pop in. With everything aligned so perfectly by the end of the track you’ll probably be on your porch, dancing with a beer in hand. Track number two, “Lawndog”, brings to mind Ital’s “Floridian Void” with its distant and sharp stabs. Pads are thrown on top of each other without the slightest bit of claustrophobia creating a natural unison. Like the previous track it’s extremely laidback and you can almost feel the wind and sun around you while this is played. All the kids are sure to play this at their barbeques this summers and you can bet you’ll hear this played out by your favorite DJs as well. Slowing down the tempo quite a bit we’ve come to the final track “Invisible Halo”, which sounds as if it’s taken the best parts of the first two tracks and combined them into a swirling six-minute piece of synth music. The final result gives us auditory workout with a base pad being held for length of the track while everything else is built around it. The kick doesn’t even seem necessary; this could have easily been an amazing beatless track.
In the end it really is a challenge to choose a favorite out of the three tracks. Each one has individual elements that make them stand out, but at the same time they possess a uniform sound that makes them clearly Protect-U tracks. This is definitely an EP on your “cop on site” list.
Protect-U’s Motorbike EP is out on Planet Mu May 28th with audio samples available here.