Sneaker’s first solo EP for Uncanny Valley is a record of high humidity. The Java / Sumatra EP evolved in large parts in Indonesia when Sneaker lived there for almost a year and it literally conveys the Indonesian heat to dance floors in the rest of the world. Compared to his Acid House-inspired “You Think You Think” which was featured on the Uncanny Valley 004 compilation, this four new tracks show another, rather dark, Pop and New Wave side of Sneaker.
The “Java Island” side starts with “White Glow” where a serious percussion workout is blended together with the sharp electric guitar by Indonesian guitarist Al Goz. Backed up by Sneaker’s typical drum work, Slovakian singer Helena and Sneaker himself are dreaming of that mystical light. In “Misty Mirror”, it seems like Sneaker is speaking to his reflection in the mirror and trying to figure out what he is seeing there. The track is as relentless as it is bittersweet with its stumbling dark bass synth and the bell-like melody before the pads bring things to an almost orchestral end.
“Sumatra Rain” again features Al Goz, this time on the Bamboo Flute, Guitar and with a poem in West-Sumatran Minang Language. The track can be read as a meditation on the fact that if it rains in Indonesia, it pours. At the same time it is an irresistible dance floor killer that sometimes feels like “I Feel Love” for modern clubs with its ongoing octave bass and an uncompromising kick drum. Eventually, “Run To You” stands in the tradition of love song duets like “Je T’aime…Moi Non Plus”. You simply cannot forget this catchy synth melody. This is pop music for people that like Italo Disco and Chicago House and rounds up the EP in a charming way.
The two sides to producer Steve White’s music—futurism and soulfulness—sit more comfortably together than ever before on his latest album as Steve Spacek, which balances boundary-testing sonics with earnest, heart-on-sleeve lyrics. Bandcamp Album of the Day Dec 11, 2018