Following an impressive first year that saw five releases from Richelle, Mister Tweeks, Lucid and Sinjin Hawke, Belgian imprint-turned-collective Pelican Fly has had a quiet release schedule through the first half of 2012. The collective has definitely kept busy recently – as evidenced by the handful of mixes that have sprung up on their SoundCloud, as well as the Triple Lucid Life mixtape that we had the honor of premiering – but we’ve been eager to get our hands on a new Pelican Fly release since Mister Tweeks’ top notch “Neva Change EP” came out in March. Thankfully the label just released the “Palace Gates EP” from Bay Area whiz kid and Pelican Fly cohort Cosmic Revenge, satisfying our hunger that’s been steadily building over the past four months. Cosmic Revenge, born Myles Neith, has been honing his sound since 2010 with releases on Car Crash Set, Fortified Audio, and L2S Recordings, slinging primarily house and garage tunes that glow with a summery, feel-good aura. On his newest outing, though, he gravitates more towards the particular brand of party-starting club productions that have become synonymous with the name Pelican Fly.
Stream: Cosmic Revenge – Palace Gates (Original Mix) (Pelican Fly)
The percolating arp tones and soothing vocal pads that open “Palace Gates” quickly give way to a hyperactive fusion of dubstep and hip hop percussion with trance-indebted chord progressions that lend the track an epic suspended-in-midair feeling. On top of everything, Neith channels some Hudson Mohawke style maximalism and lays down some meaty synth guitar riffs that really take this one to the next level. Between the unabashed use of classically cheesy sounds, the instant gratification of the drop and the overall dancefloor potency, this is what electronic music and Top 40 producers should be striving to replicate. Next up is “Damn Girl,” which achieves maximum wreckage with a pared down sound palette that has a discernable Middle Eastern flair to it, especially the hypnotic wood flute melody. A huge buildup halfway through the production leads into a trademark Pelican Fly drop, a heavy low end workout that’s melodically sparse but packed tight with raw energy.
Stream: Cosmic Revenge – Damn Girl (Original Mix) (Pelican Fly)
“Hallucinations” begins with dreamy bell and piano melodies that set the backdrop for a sample from David Cronenborg’s classic 1983 sci-fi mystery Videodrome: “You might catch yourself sliding in and out of a hallucinatory state after this is all over… if you do, just relax and enjoy it.” Myles flexes some serious melodic muscle on this one, moving between various melody-countermelody constructions with ease and fluidity, and even pulling off some remarkably effective parallel melodies. On final track “Get Fly”, rich and grainy pads swirl around above a trap-leaning production, while the triumphant synth guitar from the title track comes out once again, giving the track a crunk-meets-Cruis’n USA vibe that’s perfect for an EP-closing victory lap. Unlike most other Pelican Fly releases, there are no remixes to be found on this one but the four distinctly original productions on this EP leave us feeling perfectly satisfied without those. “Palace Gates” is without a doubt Neith’s most ambitious and confident release to date.
Stream: Cosmic Revenge – Hallucinations (Pelican Fly)
Cosmic Revenge – Palace Gates EP (Pelican Fly) is out now in digital formats.