With the drop of new EP EKG, Toronto’s AutoErotique have completed a six-pack of releases for Dim Mak records. Just over three years into their electro-house project, the duo of Keith Robertson and Dave Henderson continue to redefine their production characteristics, toeing the line between big-room production and slightly offbeat trendsetter. The new five-track EP (including two edits) stays true to the core West Coast party vibe of Steve Aoki’s label, but takes a few risks with out-of-the-box sound design.
The EP is centered around the 126 BPMs of “Roll the Drums”, which is also the most cookie-cutter mix on the release. Featuring the vocals of Marissa Jack and melodic piano strikes, the track could easily be mistaken for one of Kaskade’s harder productions. The edit courtesy of JFK (best known as half of MSTRKRFT) easily trumps the intensity of the original, eliminating the vocals, diminishing the Euro-trance soft drop, and focusing on the tension of the original lead synth that breaks into the steady, four-to-the-floor conclusion. This is a tactic that makes the edit easily mixable into a continuous DJ set.
The EP’s initialisms, “EKG” and “WTF”, are where sonic experimentation are more easily pinpointed. The title track, which takes its name from the German Elektrokardiogramm, draws from obscure sound bites already produced by established artists, including deadmau5’s “Complicated”. “EKG” also uses the digital pulse of the heart as a melodic sample. AutoErotique expands on that beat with a definitive “CLEAR!” before the track’s plateau and dizzying conclusion. The duo also fuse a tight, modified vocal snippet atop the dominant beat, a psychedelic infusion already practiced by many in the West Coast bass culture.
“WTF” has all the fist-pumping power of Dim Mak labelmates The Bloody Beetroots. A sustained drone, rattling snare riffs, and inaudible gibberish create a cyclone of turbulence sweeping the listener from their feet, moving them into the realm of momentary dissonance. Robertson and Henderson do ease off at the track’s end, allowing for a safe and comfortable landing. This EP may not stand the test of time, but its beats satisfy AutoErotique’s ultimate goal of unadulterated climax.
Essential Tracks: “EKG”