Things are about to change for Felix Cartal. Thanks to a bevy of heavy-hitting guest vocalists and a more melodic display of his smooth electronic styling, Different Faces is poised to please his current EDM fan base and newcomers alike. Cartal’s second Dim Mak full-length truly shows us all of his different faces, as he brings us versatility beyond the house music that made him.
Blending the energetic aggression that drove his first release with a newly acquired catchiness in the way of carefully punctuated guest vocal spots, Cartal succeeds in his goal of creating an album that’s suited for more than just current fans. Bringing in Sebastien Grangier of Death from Above 1979 for “H.U.N.T.”, Cartal uses his throttling kicks of drum and bass to propel Grangier’s growl into a drinking anthem. Different Faces’ collaborative pairings create the unexpected, whether it’s the subdued piano that becomes a frenzy of bass and claps to support Miss Palmer on “Black to White” or the addition commanded of The Sounds’ Maja Ivarsson to the poppy “Tonight”.
Endless energy remains even as the focus is turned to Cartal’s DJ work and he loses the added vocals. Through the use of dramatic buildups and intense effects, the crossover appeal remains, and any listener will be reluctant to leave the party. “Triple Deke” maintains a dark intensity much like the DJ’s earlier efforts, as the track gains momentum with a vicious bass line and repeated gruff proclamations of “bass.” “Domo” doesn’t come as furiously, rather using bouncy synths to introduce jarring change.
Different Faces comes with welcome variance likely to aid Cartal in branching out beyond what’s currently expected of him as an EDM artist. We’re only just beginning to see an artist capable of packing more than just dance floors.
Essential Tracks: “Black to White” and “Tonight”