Offspring EP lays out Kernel Keys production blueprint from the get-go. The relentless, swirling bassline of the title-track rumbles broodingly below retro drum machine riffs and thoughtfully-applied percussive elements. It forms a deep groove before vibrant synths complete a kaleidoscopic aural landscape. So far, so compelling.
Kernel Key is Ferdinando Apicella, a Naples-born DJ and producer. He grew up listening to Bob Marley, Pink Floyd, The Doors and Dire Straits. But it was a record by Detroit techno mastermind Derrick May back in 1994 that ultimately coloured this young musicians creative calling. Fast forward a few years and Kernel Key is fast becoming one of the hottest new names on the European club scene.
Last years monster Waiting For Cocktail reached 12th position in the Beatport charts. And renowned French DJ Sébastien Léger has listed Kernel Key as one of his favourite upcoming producers. Yet promise can be a difficult thing. At some point you have to deliver on it. With that in mind, its hard not to feel like Offspring EP is Kernel Keys watershed moment.
Small Axe is an ice-cool take on Detroit techno, with urgent staccato synth melodies bolstered by an enfilade of crisp, industrial beats. But this is not a case of a producer tethered slavishly to a single genre. The playful synths and funk-infused energy of Rebel Soul add refreshing Balearic elements to Kernel Keys stock. Its plumed with all the hallmarks of a floor-filler.
Here we have arrangements that are smooth, streamlined and sonically invigorating. Its time to welcome a new name to the dance floors of Europe: Kernel Key. Hell let himself in.
Offspring EP is released via Baptism Records on 20th March 2012.