Honey Soundsystem member Robert Yang, aka Bézier, comes completely correct with another strong EP to follow releases on labels such as HNYTRX, Public Release and the split 12- inch release with Fort Romeau on the Cin Cin label that Michael Greene (as Fort Romeau is known to his mum) runs with Warm’s Ali Tillet. This time Yang is back on Josh Cheon’s Dark Entries imprint, on which he put out his first EP, Ensconced, in 2013 and the Telomeres EP in 2015.
Cheon and Yang share a common love for seminal synth-pop, electronic experimentalism, industrial music and Italo disco. Being a grouch who lived through the entire ‘80s and was/is similarly obsessed with all those music forms I am sometimes dismissive of the reissue business (Dark Entries has reissued a slew of music in these areas) and new music based on these vintage templates. However, it is hard to fault a release as strong as this and if people want the reissues then why not reissue classic tunes. A recent, strong talking to by friend, — whose name I won’t tarnish on here — regarding my lack of grasp on post-modernism, has put me straight.
Back to Bézier’s “Primes” EP, a three-tracker that kicks off with the title number, which weighs in at a delightful Cosmic-inflected tempo of 90 bpm and with a similar Cosmic feel. Don’t be fooled by the tempo, this is a kicky, driving and disarmingly melodic Italo, elettro cruiser with tough, rolling drums. It would fit perfectly into DJ sets by the likes of Baldelli or Beppe Loda.
“Stranger” features one Nicole Ginelli on vocal duties and SF native and Berlin resident Doc Sleep on co-production. It is a throbbing, drivingly-arpeggiated, Italo-accented disco beast featuring washes of synth that waft and snake around and through Ginelli’s voice. She does sterling work on par with Nancy Forture on Alden Tyrell’s “La Voix,” switching roles between dominatrix and coquettish girl as she coos and intones assertively, yet hauntingly, throughout.
The EP closes with “Imperial Tranz-Am,” a slow, dreamy electro mood piece that was originally used as the soundtrack to an experimental, queer fantasy short by San Francisco filmmaker Aron Kantor. It’s over thirteen minutes long and despite its slow-mo approach (70 bpmish) is perhaps the most dramatic piece on this record. It’s immersive and compellingly melodic — like all the tracks on here.
Primes EP was released on July 28th and was mastered by George Horn at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, California, so you know it’s going to sound great. Get it before the pressing runs out. Christopher Orr