Recommended: Cottam – Relapse EP

The low profile house conjuror Cottam first appeared through a string of self-released 12-inches that came out during the autumn of 2009 and the beginning of the following year. In Cottam’s own words, these releases that came in limited copies were incidental as he had no intention of putting them out until a friend told him he’d be crazy not to. And if anything, it’s one of the luckiest accidents we have encountered in music in recent times. On his first records Cottam balanced a varied range of sounds: the cleaner, slow-motion cuts are the leading theme throughout, but by alternating these slow-house grooves with percussive-based edits of Afro-beat styled jams such as the one on COTTAM002 (sampling the Nigerian trumpet legend Bola Johnson’s “Lagos Sisi”) and heavier sounds like the hypnotic acid roller that can be found on his fourth EP, Cottam kept things more than riveting. Following in the footsteps of Christian Beißwenger and Daze Maxim, Cottam branched out to another label not too long after this for the third release on Story, which carried the soothing Erykah Badu composition “Whobadu.” This was the point where he started establishing his name, still in very few and scattered quantities, on other labels like Wolf Music, Use Of Weapons and Flight Recorder and delivered remixes for the likes of of Morning Factory and Pattern Select. Last year, Cottam released his first record on Will Saul’s Aus Music entitled “Deep Deep Down” which came with a wonderful Vakula remix and this winter, Cottam is back for his second release on the label – get ready another two astounding tracks with an equally lovely remix.

Stream: Cottam – Relapse (Cosmin TRG Remix) (Aus Music)

Carrying on in the submerged atmosphere Cottam picked up for his first release on Aus Music, the release consists of warm-sounding slices of deep house. And though they’re perhaps a bit more refined sounding than most of his earlier back catalogue, this is a more than welcome attribute to his work and fits in perfectly amongst recent Aus releases Midland’s “Placement” EP and George FitzGerald’s “Child.” The record kicks off with the EP’s track title, “Relapse“, which is another example of Cottam’s mastery in crafting intricate arrangements with a complexity that slowly unfolds: the trick here once again lies in the elegantly diverging repetition. The teasing phased drumrolls are the main attraction of the song and lead you through seven minutes of house felicity, accompanied by some deep organs and – something not many producers manage to get away with nowadays- a yearning trumpet singing over bits of the track. The Romanian adept Cosmin TRG is on the remix duties for “Relapse” and turns the track into a more up-tempo force of house music, shifting the focus to the almost haunted synths and shuffling percussion. He draws you in immediately and won’t let you go until the end of the track. It’s not many times we don’t immediately choose sides and appreciate an original track and its remix equally, but the two producers complement each other perfectly and both tracks are 100-proof in their own right. The release ends with “I Remember”: kicking off with Cottam’s trademark raw percussion, the drums sound barely unchanging in nature but over the course of the track go through subtle transitions, building up to a misty acid bassline intermezzo then deconstructing it again. It’s nice to hear traces of the artist we initially fell in love with in this track. This release balances the old and new side of Cottam perfectly and delivers three wonderful tracks for the dancefloor.

Stream: Cottam – I Remember (Aus Music)

Cottam’s “Relapse” EP will be released on Aus Music on November 12th. 

Soraya Brouwer

LONDON VIA AMSTERDAM - Soundcloud & Instagram