Sunday, 6 November 2016

Ewan Jansen – Aqua Libre – Red Ember

EWAN Jansen first caught my attention with the deep-as Blueline Summer long-player on the influential Moods & Grooves some tens ago or so. But he’d already been quietly making his mark for a number of years before that with appearances on the likes of Track Mode, Deep4Life and his own Red Ember Records.

Then nothing. Not a peep out of the Australian producer. That was until last year when he popped up with new material on the German collective Hardworksoftdrink. That was quickly followed by a slew of fresh EPs on Adelaide Soundworks, Going Good and Inner Balance.

And now it has also signalled a revival of Red Ember after a 15-year hiatus with the Perth-based Jansen re-launching the imprint with the formidable solo EP Aqua Libre.

Opener and aforementioned title track, Aqua Libre, is dusted liberally with the feel-good factor, a hearty, honest and warming track with little in the way of pretention but a whole lot of uplift and joy. It’s one to put a smile on even the most sour and curmudgeonly of faces. Following swiftly in its wake is Plankton, in many ways a just as pleasurable and rewarding hunk of deepness but with a more muscular groove.

Freckles is no makeweight either, a stirring and emotionally-charged little number with a light touch of disco laced around its edges.

Yet despite the considerable craft and quality of these three, for my taste at least it is the closing cut – how often does that happen? – Castel that nigh on steals the show. It’s a real beauty, spacey, blissful and with that emotional content that both Moodymann and Keith Worthy spoke of.

With more goodies in the pipeline, notably the forthcoming Return To Hyperbola EP on the ever-excellent Inner Shift, it’s a welcome return. I have no idea where Mr Jansen has been, but I’m sure glad he’s back.

Check out:

Aqua LIbre EP @ SoundCloud
Buy Aqua Libre @ Juno
Red Ember @ Discogs

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