Kiko & Mihalis Safras
Great Stuff Recordings
Techno with a twist is the order of the day on this new EP from Greece's Material Series / Surya man Mihalis Safras and longtime scene stalwart Kiko.
Mentos is as fresh as its namesake, whizzing up a frenzy of sassy techno. A simple, incessant synth arpeggio lies at its heart, looping around a backbone of snappy claps and shakers and hats with a certain lightness of touch. The bassline brings just the right amount of funk, and the breakdowns some haunted atmospherics. It's succinct stuff, with the ambience created by way of subtle motifs rather than blatant riffs and the like.
Back 'n' Trax kicks off with a supremely bouncy tech beat and soon draws in nods to Daft Punk with its sustained vocoder chords. It's infectious from the word go, almost like the track begins in the middle of a breakdown. Tension is kept high as the full stomping groove kicks into life, with chopped up vocal stabs and undulating synths gently rasping away. The dramatic, moody breakdown underlines the menacing tones running through this track, but coupled with the superbly sprightly rhythm track, it makes for a fist-pumping romp that mixes mood and groove to great effect.