River Yarra ‘Rain Dance’ EP

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Coming off a single release in late 2014, young Melbourne musician/producer/artist RIVER YARRA delivers one of the more interesting and unique releases in recent memory with his Rain Dance EP.

Definitely channeling another era in dance music, this EP looks to classic house and disco music to illuminate the present, sometimes incorporating experimental sonic textures. It’s these elements which make the tracks so interesting and original, while still trading on a familiar template.

‘The Look’ is an effervescent interpretation of the Bacharach/David/Springfield classic ‘The Look of Love’, keeping the allure of the original but fusing it to a galloping downtempo house beat with chopped up vocals. The track feels like it keeps tripping over itself, and never really gets out of the gate, but it’s quite a bit of fun if you like that chilled out house tip.

Stepping into 8-bit territory (or his own version of it), ‘Moonlight Disco’ has a straight-up, classic house sound with 4/4 beat, lead synths and warm keys filling out the production. Bleeps and buzzsaw interrupt occasionally and make their presence heard, injecting life and chaos into the formula. A solid effort.

By far the hardest to quantify of the three tracks is title track ‘Rain Dance’. It has a straightforward beat, being traditional uptempo house, but as per the title the instrumentation is reminiscent of a sound healing ceremony (if you don’t know what a sound healing ceremony is, take a second to thank the cosmos). On this one River Yarra is definitely reaching another realm, but it’s awkward, askew nature is so incredibly interesting, and for that this track is a gem.

The Rain Dance EP from River Yarra is an intriguing, consistent and original statement. Kinda brave and personal, as not many are creating this type of music outside a few. If you like interesting textures, melodies and instrumentation in your House music this is a release you need to listen to.

Rain Dance EP is out now via Solitaire Recordings.

Words by Ben Cook

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A Melbourne-based writer with an ear for sounds and a way with words. Music is truth, and the search for truth is never-ending.