Denis Sulta – Aye Spoake Te Sumwuhn & They Listenhd (4 stars)

Denis Sulta – Aye Spoake Te Sumwuhn & They Listenhd

credit: Haris Nukem

Glasgow DJ and producer's first release on Ninja Tune is playful and vibrant

For the past couple of years, Glasgow DJ and producer Hector Barbour has been cashing in early currency as an affiliate of his home city's interlocking Rubadub, Sub Club, Numbers and Dixon Avenue Basement Jams scenes into growing international fame as ringmaster of his own Sulta Selects parties – holding court at branded, self-selected dance festival line-ups around the world in his Denis Sulta guise.

A great, intuitive DJ with a twitchy sense for genre-skipping sets made for dancing, and a particular sense of showmanship which suggests he'd be in his own crowd if he wasn't playing to it, Barbour/Sulta has skipped effortlessly over from the DJing big time to the premier league of production with this, his first release on Ninja Tune. As is increasingly the case these days, what's billed as an EP is more of a mini-album, comprising eight tracks which give a broad overview of where his production is at the moment.

The supposedly shorter format allows a sense of playfulness which a longer-form record may not; specifically, the way he drops in snippets of his own voice which sound like they were recorded mid-party, even building one track (the closing 'Welcome to the Rest of My Life') entirely from his own vocal sample. New listeners will be here purely for the beats, however … and what a bunch of sound he makes. The liquid house riff of 'In Narito' is a sophisticated groove to open, but beyond it the Denis Sulta sound hovers somewhere amid the tough urban techno of 'Gas Whillis While I Paint My Nails' and the energetic future rave of 'It's Tough But Not As Much As the Dream is Worth Joseph'.

Also, amid the scything, synthetic grooves of 'Matthew Keeps Me Pirrie' and 'Dan Will SOME Day KNOW How Special He Makes Me Feel' (each song is a tribute to a friend), there is a real feeling for addictive melody. Barbour has spoken before about how he finds it hard to separate regular Hector and superstar Denis, and the disjointed vocal snippets give his vibrant productions a rough conceptual edge; a concept which says, this is a record for everyone deep in the sesh who's trying to make fun and sanity balance.

Out Fri 8 Nov on Ninja Tune.

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