Fatima Yamaha Araya

Fatima Yamaha Araya
8
It's been an interesting couple of years for Bas Bron, the Dutch house producer often known as Fatima Yamaha. His little-noticed 2004 track "What's a Girl to Do" (released on Irish label D1 Recordings), gained much-belated traction after it reappeared 11 years later as a bed track (renamed and with an added vocal) on Hudson Mohawke's Lantern LP in 2015. The original was swiftly reissued that year by Amsterdam label Dekmantel, vindicating the considerable goodwill it had accrued over the years in more discerning circles. An LP on Magnetron Music soon followed, and 2017's Araya EP (out on Dekmantel again) maintains this serendipitously heightened profile to worthy effect.
 
The lead (and title) track is the most memorable here. Its forward momentum grips immediately, maintaining interest with well-judged dynamics and a simple but elegant melody that, along with the production, calls to mind Lindstrom at his most straightforward. Second track "Piayes Beach Bar and Grill" is more playful, swapping its predecessor's urgency for a hazier, more funked-out vibe featuring a fairly awesome synth solo towards the end. "Romantic Bureaucracy " closes things on an eccentric note with off-kilter rhythms, classic (i.e. unfiltered) piano tones and a beat that doesn't kick in until its final moments.
 
This last part is an arguable misstep, but while the track is arguably the weakest here, it's certainly not lacking in charm. In fact, the entire release is very easy to like, and will hopefully solidify Bron's recently increased profile — and deservedly so. (Dekmantel)