At this point Anthony Naples has branched into many corners of the music spectrum, primarily off the back of last year’s “Mad Disrespect”. Circumventing the usual approach of banging out EP after EP while on the public’s good side, he’s taken a decidedly slower course. He’s held back on releasing any new material, and only recently returned to Mister Saturday Night for his follow-up record “Moscato”. His latest appearance on Will Bankhead’s The Trilogy Tapes is beyond welcome and shows Anthony step out slightly from the traditional house format. Having already tapped New York resident Will Burnett and – through Hinge Finger – Queens’ Madteo, it seems fitting for Bankhead to approach one of Brooklyn’s rising stars. Going into the “El Portal EP” expect kicks that slice through the mix and minimal, but poignant synthesizers.
From the slowly rising synths to the filter cuts the title track “El Portal” sounds like a constant build, which leads up to a sluggish drone of strings and guitars. The bulk of the track has a very jam session vibe with the way it chugs along. In a surprise turn the last minute shifts into drones and noise, which is particularly interesting. It’s like a soundtrack to end of a dusty festival where everyone’s exhausted and sunburnt. We wouldn’t mind hearing an entire tape of music in a similar vein. The first cut is just he beginning, throughout this EP he rides loops getting the maximum amount of use out of each one once again proving more is not necessarily better. Of the four tracks “Pueblo” is probably the goofiest and most light-hearted. Based around a dub-like bassline and a few piano notes (it sounds like a Wurlitzer), he brings in a somewhat harsh buzz and hi-hats around that. Aside from that not much else happens – it’s a laidback track with a pinch of dub influence.
Our pick for go-to track has to be “Busy Signal”. From the beginning it oozes danceability and the simple melody not only got stuck in our heads, but it’s also highly hummable (that’s always a plus). This is another track that is loop-centric – the pads, hats, and snares wrap around the beat as it’s edited in a live-like way. No Trilogy Tapes record would be complete without some sort of curveball and “La Cuarta” is that (also, this writer’s favorite of the batch). Again, we see Anthony exploring drawn out relatively beatless material. For three minutes we are treated to arpeggiating synth manipulation. He plays with the cutoff as tape hiss and delay float underneath the bulk of the track. A short thump of kick drums brings the short closer to a finish. This is long way off from the low-key anthem that was “Mad Disrespect” and helps showcase his range in production ability and sound palette. The only downside to this track is its length – we could easily sit and listen to 10-minutes’ worth of this. There’s no doubt Anthony’s “El Portal EP” is one of his strongest and most interesting. In it we’re treated to nearly 20-minutes of diverse jams that are club-ready, yet playful (in the same sense as “MM/KM”). This record only makes us more excited for the other projects he has up his sleeve.
Stream: Anthony Naples – El Portal EP (The Trilogy Tapes)
Anthony Naples’ El Portal EP is available now The Trilogy Tapes.
*Last June Anthony mixed Truancy Volume 48*