Recommended: Mister Tweeks – Neva Change EP

Around here, a new Pelican Fly release generates a kind of vigorous, anxious enthusiasm that’s only matched by kids on Christmas morning. Since its inauguration last March with Richelle’s Mascotte EP, the Brussels-based label has impressed us time and time again by putting out fresh, original creations that don’t play by anyone’s rules. On his new Neva Change EP – available today – Pelican Fly mainstay Mister Tweeks demonstrates this vision with four strong tracks that show his range and depth as a purveyor of anything-goes dance music.

It’s noticeable right off the bat that, compared to his previous Numéro Sept EP, Mister Tweeks is incorporating more colorful synth work into his production style. The title track boasts deep-space swells and searing, serrated synth lines that give everything a distinct purple tinge. But this is definitely a Pelican Fly release, as the snappy half-stepping rhythm and trademark foreboding piano tone constantly remind us. Next up is “Late Night,” which opens with airy, twinkling tones that give off feel-good cosmic vibes. After building some steam, though, a beefed-up brass melody whips things into a frenzy, accented perfectly by a Slim Thug sample (“good girls gotta get down with them gangsters”) that’s been given the classic trap/chop & screw treatment.

Mister Tweeks – Neva Change (Original Mix) [FLY006] by pelicanfly

Mister Tweeks – Late Night (Original Mix) [FLY006] by pelicanfly

The brass theme carries on into “Around Me,” which is, on the surface, the most straightforward dance track out of the four original productions on this release. Opening with a rude, mutant Funky groove reminiscent of Lil Silva or Ill Blu, Mister Tweeks proceeds to play around with a variety of rhythmic permutations and melodic elements. He ultimately settles back into the original groove and introduces a simple three-note brass lead that anchors the track, as well as a muted trumpet line that’s evocative of free-spirited New Orleans street jazz. While it may sound bizarre on paper, Mister Tweeks ties everything together in a remarkably effortless and unforced way. On closing track “Ice Cream,” Mister Tweeks returns to the kind of dubby atmospherics he opened the EP with, although much sparser this time around. Built around a clever and humorous vocal sample, it starts off as a bleary-eyed head nodder but quickly evolves into prime come-down material from a long night of partying. There’s also an extra layer of sheen on this track – you can hear it in the programming, the processing, and the overall production value – that demonstrates Mister Tweeks’ attention to detail and demands repeated listens.

Mister Tweeks – Around Me (Original Mix) [FLY006] by pelicanfly

Mister Tweeks – Ice Cream (Original Mix) [FLY006] by pelicanfly

As if these four tracks weren’t enough on their own, the folks at Pelican Fly were nice enough to include four remixes along with the EP. First up, Club Cheval stalwart Sam Tiba distills the rich sounds of “Neva Change” to create a twisted, club-minded number loaded with enough low end pressure to blow the subs in your trunk. Prince Jean, a hotly tipped Pelican Fly cohort, transforms “Around Me” into a smoke sesh anthem, taking the freewheeling trumpet from the original for a blissed-out swim in a pool of codeine and kush. Next, Canadian newcomer Deebs stays true to the careening energy of “Late Night” but paves over the brassy synth from the original with swirling bleeps and glitches. Last up is Richelle’s remix of “Ice Cream,” a dazzling production that finds a perfect middle ground between aggressive minimalism and restrained maximalism. Certain tracks may stand out more than others, but there’s truly not a weak offering on this release. And with such a diverse selection of sounds, it’s safe to say that Mister Tweeks and Pelican Fly have produced yet another winner. Highly recommended!

Mister Tweeks – Neva Change EP (Pelican Fly) is out now.

Sam Billetdeaux