Posted on May 30th, 2013 (9:00 am) by Ben Schenkel

While most Americans probably can’t place Bucharest or even Romania on a map, it is becoming increasingly likely you’ll hear Romanian electronic music the next time you’re in a club. The rising EDM scene in Bucharest has attracted much attention in recent years, especially due to a growing artist collective known as Origami Sound. As described in this article, Origami Sound is an umbrella promotion organization covering three labels: Origami Sound, Farver, and Dark Clover. The man behind the operation, known on the internet simply as Herne, is a powerful promoter overseeing what many seem to think of as an EDM revolution. After listening to one of Origami Sound’s latest releases, The Catch, a six track album of summertime club tunes by artists ViLLΛGE and Arapaima, revolution might be too strong of a word.

Self described as a “summer gem [that] feels like a good game of catch in the park,” the album is definitely bright, but a game of catch in the park? It sounds more like an ecstasy rave in the park. While the album features nice textures and high energy, the songs are typical club-jams with heavy kick drums and overused vocal samples. The record starts with ViLLΛGE’s tune “Take On Me.” The track features a heavy breakbeat that’s trying really hard not to be a steadybeat. The climaxes and peaks of the song are determined by an aggressive mood shift rather than emotional depth, and the upper-register vocal samples are overused to the point of being annoying. Maybe it's a cultural thing, but the entire album utilizes relentless chopped vocal samples in the upper register that make me feel like I’m in a room full of mirrors and people with megaphones are screaming at me. However, at the end of the track, when the samples fade out and the beat is naked, the groove is tighter than ever. A common fault of modern EDM seems to be the overuse of samples to create energy and momentum. Tasteful electronic music can create energy without become overstimulating. But again, maybe overstimulation is the name of the game in Bucharest.

The second track is “Lilt” by Arapaima. A heavy four on the floor beat embellished with textures again becomes a background for heavy vocal sampling. In this tune somehow it seems to work better - it’s overstimulating, but at least the sounds are pleasant and not actively annoying. The second drop features a steady beat on top of a shuffle creating a nice effect, but I have to say he could have been more minimal with the samples. Also, the track drags on a bit and could have used a B section. ViLLΛGE finally earns some redemption with the fifth track, “Love On The Line.” A heavy steadybeat gives way to a synth-saturated club build and drops hard to get the people dancing. This tune is possibly the most aggressive of them all, but at least it has some substance to back itself up. Imagery of high-energy summer raves definitely comes to mind and the power of the music possesses a cathartic vibe.

To be honest, you may not be interested in checking this album out unless you are a DJ at a okay-not-great club. While it’s nothing special, hey, I’d rather be in a club that plays this stuff than the jersey-shore top-40 shit you usually find.

Track List:
1. ViLLΛGE - Take On Me
2. Arapaima - Lilt
3. ViLLΛGE - Mojo
4. Arapaima - Head Over Heals
5. ViLLΛGE - Love On The Line
6. Arapaima - Antlers

ViLLΛGE & Arapaima: The Catch
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

55 / 100
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