Slava, Raw Solutions

Andy Battaglia

By Andy Battaglia

on 04.23.13 in Reviews

Raw Solutions

Vertiginous dance music that takes cues from the Chicago-borne “footwork” sound

In its serious, almost spiritual commitment to repetition, Slava’s vertiginous dance music takes cues from the Chicago-borne “footwork” sound. Many of the tracks on Raw Solutions, the Moscow-born, Chicago-raised, Brooklyn-based DJ/producer’s debut album, take a snippet of a vocal sample and circle around it until it’s been spied from every conceivable angle. “Girl Like Me” offers an early example, with an R&B-tipped diva voice singing, “No, you never had a girl quite like me” once and, then ad infinitum. It happens to more delirious effect in “Heartbroken,” which revisits the titular word dozens of times, with ethereal electronic processing, until the result turns hallucinatory. The effect is similar to the disassociation you feel when speaking a single word repeatedly (think or say the word “king” 50 times and see if you’re still having visions of royalty after). Apart from his love for spin-cycle sampling, Slava showcases a nimble production style that favors house music-derived rhythmic syncopation and infusions of pan-electronic elements like rave sirens (“Heartbroken”) and quasi-jungle “rinse-outs” (“Girls on Dick”). It’s all clenched and economical and tight, and it never lets up.