Dutch artist Lucinate (aka Bram van der Hoeven) released his first EP last month on the net label Cosmonostro. It was a respectable debut, but it relied a little too heavily on '90s downtempo and nu-jazz tropes. Skip, Lucinate's follow-up on King Deluxe, is another matter; its tight beats and sensitive sampling reveal a producer with real potential.
On the title track, Van der Hoeven adds a downtempo beat and electronic flourishes to looping jazz samples, but always with restraint, in a way that lets the samples take the lead. Second track "Fast For Whatever" sounds like something from Lusine's playbook for the first minute, but when another sample enters with accompanying glitchy beats, Van der Hoeven's own vision takes over. On both tracks, the intricacy of Van der Hoeven's beats are what set him apart.
Both cuts here are under four minutes, and they feel more like studies than proper tracks. An album is reportedly in the works, though, and hopefully the larger canvas will let Lucinate develop his skills more fully.
The EP ends with an unlikely remix by Toshiyuki Yasuda. Yasuda takes Lucinate's samples in a totally different direction, applying a much heavier beat and then obscuring them with harsh synth tones and even a little dubstep wobble. It's a great closer to an excellent EP. (King Deluxe)