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Ubiquity Records

Tigerbalm "Kete" LP

Tigerbalm "Kete" LP

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Track List

A1) Kete (Original Mix)

A2) Kete (Instrumental)

A3) Kete (Massimo Lamagna Remix)

A4) Kete (Guinu & Cardaci Remix)

B1) Kete (Mang Dynasty Remix)

B2) Kete (Max Essa Dub Remix)

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Some artists strive for years to develop a distinctive trademark sound, stumbling between projects while trying to find their voice. It’s not an accusation you could level at rising star Rose Robinson, whose Tigerbalm releases are infused with a trademark sound that’s alight with infectious (and often thrillingly percussive) rhythms, vivid aural colour and nods to a dizzying array of sounds and styles from around the World.

It's this hard-to-pigeonhole personal style, allied with an instinctive grasp of what works on the dancefloor – a by-product of over a decade spent DJing around her home city of London and well beyond – that’s at the heart of Robinson’s first Tigerbalm release for Ubiquity Records, ‘Kete’, and the subsequent single and debut album that will follow later in the autumn.

Like the rest of that album, the appropriately titled International Love Affair, ‘Kete’ was inspired by Robinson’s travels around the world – in this case, the unique musical culture of Bali, where Indonesian-influenced rhythms and instrumentation sit side by side with imported nu-Balearic beats (a style Eric Duncan once dubbed ‘Bali-eric’ during the period he was a resident on the island), nu-disco and sundown house.

Blessed with the stylish, queen-of-the-night vocals of Berlin-based singer Joy Tyson, also known as Snake Milk and a member of the Farafi Band, ‘Kete’ is a locked-in late-night treat. Originally recorded as an instrumental, which Tyson then wrote lyrics for and added her vocals to, the track a wonderfully low-slung chugger laden with slowly creeping chords, weighty dub disco bass, flashes of fuzzy psyche-funk guitar, echoing percussion hits (provided by long-time friend and collaborator Patrick Dawes), whispers of Indonesian instrumentation and of trippy effects.

Fittingly given Robinson’s long-standing links to club culture, her original vocal and instrumental versions come accompanied by a string of similarly inspired reworks. Veteran producer Massimo Lamagna steps up first, sticking a rocket up Robinson’s original mix and reframing it as a breathless, non-stop mix of rolling disco and funk-fuelled tribal house, before Brazilian twosome Guinu & Cardaci take the track into more tactile, soft-focus territory via sunrise-ready grooves, vibrant electrofunk synth sounds and sensationally deep chords.

Subtly disco-tinged dancefloor delight comes courtesy of the Mang Dynasty – AKA scene heavyweights Bill Brewster and Ray Mang. The pair’s take is luscious and loved up, with ear-pleasing melodic elements and Tyson’s fine vocal rising above a seriously squelchy bassline. In contrast, Max Essa’s dub mix is positively skeletal, with the Tokyo-based Balearic specialist slowly building up a warming, loved-up workout. An additional full vocal mix from Essa features as a bonus track on the digital edition of the single, alongside Robinson’s own radio edit.

The release of ‘Kete’ comes accompanied by a beautiful, stylish video. This was shot in Berlin, directed by photographer and video maker Roberto Zanrossa and art directed by the song’s singer, Joy Tyson with background visuals from Kubma Dobrowolski.

‘Kete’, then, is a single that sets the agenda for the Tigerbalm releases to follow, both musically and visually. It’s a strong sonic sentiment from a producer hitting her artistic peak.