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East meets West on Culprit's seventeenth EP release, as three emerging producers from Russia make their debut on the Los Angeles based label as Special Case. As Culprit enters the next phase in its lifecycle, young producers are submitting music that is inspired by the Culprit catalogue. Championing fresh acts, as evidenced on the Above The City compilation, is becoming a key aspect of the Culprit ethos.

Heralding from St Petersburg and Moscow, Special Case is part of a rising wave of Eastern European artists, a region that holds tremendous importance for Culprit's Ukrainian born Andrei Osyka. Having established reputations as individual DJs in their native soil, the trio came together as Special Case specifically to create a release for Culprit, and with the belief that the whole would be greater than the sum of their parts. 'Aurum' is dancefloor gold and proves they were right to do so.

Trips last year to the trio's Moscow and St. Petersburg parties convinced Osyka that they were onto something special. Robert James agreed when he visited Russia, and given the synergy between Culprit and Hot Creations, James emerged as the perfect remix counterfoil to Petre Inspirescu, aka Pedro, on this release. Further familiarity has been established with Special Case playing Culprit's Sonar party and the Culprit Sessions rooftop party in LA. While this release showcases Culprit's appreciation for brightly burning new talent, it also acknowledges masters who paved the way and continue to set the standard. A rare and unique remix from Pedro is a coup for the label, especially as the vinyl only purist agreed to make the track available digitally. Fifteen and a half minutes long, recorded in one live take, an almost jazz-like approach to electronic music, Inspirescu's starkly minimalistic take is a welcome throwback to a past era and a reminder that pursuing the latest 'fads' are not what icons are made of.

On 'Aurum', which is Latin for gold, Special Case delivers a slice of precious dancefloor fun. A warm funky track awash with pop-sensibilities, perfectly suited to a daytime groove, it is the ying to the b-side's ('round:about') yang. For 'round:about' Special Case delve deeper and moodier, with a swinging bass-line focused on late-night antics. Robert James takes 'Aurum' in a different direction with a more epic synth-laden version on the patented Hot Creations sound he has helped lay the template for. This is a tasteful peak-time dancefloor jam that shall shake many a bassbin.

Published: September 29, 2011