Prodigal son of the ESP Institute, Juan Ramos, rises from the cesspool of a world gone mad with 'Agua Del Cenote', his fifth release with the label. Whilst many artists are following their inner light to bring us some much needed joy amidst these rotten times, Juan (being the little shit that he is) follows an inner demon and delivers listeners and dancers a demented clusterfuck of sadistic chaos. The title track opens with what sounds like a butane torch and we metaphorically freebase into oblivion. Our perception of reality unravels, writhing in abrasive textures smeared across a low-slung, mid-tempo erotic thump. Everything feels blurry and distant, as if we’re swimming through an underground aquatic tunnel, in a panic, searching for an invisible band of spirits whose tune summons us into certain annihilation. Following this is a remix from a decorated lord of 20th Century electronics, Harald Grosskopf AKA The Synthesist. Harald wipes away grit and lethargy to reveal elements hidden deep within the mix as well as softens Juan’s sense of terror by building up to an optimistic layer of added synth. We’d love to offer some relief with the balance of the EP, however, the remaining two tracks paint complimentary hues in the same cerebral palette. 'Let It Go (Freaks Only)' veers closely to House in terms of tempo and gestalt, utilizing a vocal sample from Third Generation (Kerri Chandler) and a healthy dose of sub bass, but Juan hardly apologizes for his masochistic tendencies and certainly never relents into an uplifting mood. Closing the EP, Juan serves an antidote of sorts with 'Cuko', as if suggesting a way out of the swamp, but leaves it up to the listener’s intuition to not only see the carrot, but actually follow it into the light, thus completing the quest.
Published: 20th September 2021