Artist: Anja Schneider & Lee Van Dowski
Style: Techno / Minimal
There are drums beating in the distance, and they can only mean one thing: mobilee’s 50th release! Appropriately for the occasion, the Berlin label has whipped up something extra special, in the form of a collaboration between label mastermind Anja Schneider and minimal-house don Lee Van Dowski. As mobilee’s founder and creative overseer, Anja Schneider needs no introduction, of course; Lee Van Dowski, for the uninitiated, is a major talent renowned for his unorthodox rhythms and distinctive textures, with releases for his own imprint Num Records and many others. The result is far more than the sum of its parts: two sides of straight-for-the-gut grooves that succinctly sum up what mobilee is all about: getting down and getting dirty-in style. “Deseo” begins deceptively, creeping in with an understated kick drum, demure percussive flourishes and a slow crescendo of chords, while scraps of sampled vocals lend a warming touch. But don’t touch the volume dial just yet, because things are about to get heavy. With the gentlest touch, Anja and Lee open the filters and ease into the bass register, and before you know it, you’re in deep. “Deseo” is Spanish for desire, and the track lives up to its title, burning hotter with every bar. Sensual and hypnotic, the groove builds tension with the spine-tingling surety of a fingertip tracing the nape of your neck. And when the release finally comes, it lights you up like a house on fire, with the wordless vocal refrain answered by soulful exclamations and outbursts, all chopped up and made deliciously strange. A little bit tribal and unabashedly deep, this isn’t diva house, it’s vida house-the kind of track that makes you feel alive, awake and alight with energy. “La Roulette” plots a different course, opening with underwater warble and sonar pings that hark back to the classic minimal techno of mobilee’s very earliest releases.