Vinny Villbass – Skauern

There’s a natural charm that comes with any Vinny Villbass track, an indefinable affinity to capture a mood and an atmosphere with a mere few strokes at the keys or a percussive loop. There’s a sense of shamanic ritual to the Norwegian producer and DJ’s approach, a dancing ritual between body and mind, man and machine that instills a sense of joy and wonder at every bar, every phrase of a new track. A clear image comes to mind when you hear it, that of Villbass in his studio, dancing between synths and drum machines as he exerts an emotional pressure on his instruments to express a most visceral language in dance music.

Skauern, Vinny Villbass’ latest edition to the Paper Recordings catalogue, does exactly that and more as it relays a sense of an emerging summer, dealing in everything from lethargic dub rhythms and quirky melodic synths, playing in some stratospheric dimension lying just beyond our reach. There’s a sense of something off-beat, possibly zany just beneath the surface and on Skauern it comes in the form of detuned synths on “En Liten Pose Selvtillit”; the tribal percussion on “Kahytten (Full Fest Versjon)” and those dub rhythms of the closing version of “Kahytten”, and that’s without going into those titles and their literal meaning.

A little bag of self doubt, it might be called, but there certainly is no sense of any of that in that or any of the other tracks on the three-track effort. Villbass’ extensive studio experience captivates and entertains with engaging melodic phrases, contrapuntal beats and a host of clever re-directions, avoiding obvious drops or white noise build-ups. On “En Liten Pose Selvtillit” we detect a sound of what could be confused as something from Pantha Du Prince, Villbass, possibly relaying a hint to his work with that producer, but most striking on that track is the key change during the bridge, which acts as a dynamic twist in the track, instilling a little serenity before embarking on its next phase.

Surprises like these set Skauern and Vinny Villbass records apart from his peers, and add that indefinable Villbass touch to House music. Skauern is charismatic and engaging for these reasons, upholding that natural charm that comes with any Villbass record.

*Vinny Villbass is back at Jæger for Badabing with Karina