CD Review : Rise Ashen & Stephane Lefrancois “Venenosa”

The last time these two Canadian boys collaborated was on the excellent Mr. Tran Travels in Sound and now they step it up again with a Brazilian twist of “dubby” and “techy” house.

The title track “Venenosa“ has three uplifting and also haunting variations, each guiding you towards the heavily layered Latin rhythms and dark sensual vocals from Paulo Collier. The drumming is at times so intense that it feels like it’s beside you. “Directions In Rhythm” brings out the freak in you to dance to the futuristic tech funk sound. The lyrics dictate the words of freedom and — much like the production qualities of the song — you can get so lost as to be free. It is also fueled by happy and driving percussion that can get any soul on the dance floor.

“Something Wicked” carries on a chant over another ominous track filled with positive words and tribal rhythms hovering all about. One of the beautiful sounds that lingers throughout the song is the loud and crisp sounds of a didgeridoo. “Pogo Nuevo” sounds like it could invoke a new breed of rhythmic dance that eagerly builds into a giant mass of vigor. It’s an extremely powerful track at peak time — a lot of DJs would love to dish this one out as a late night gem. “Obey” takes the title word and drives it right into your brain, a kind of mesmerizing ancestral cleansing for those who want to take on the task.

Local imprint Balanced House once again proves they can still be a world leader in electronica, by working with such great artists to create the music we hear on the Venenosa EP.