Premiere: Alizzz – Whoa! EP

11.06.13, Words by: Lauren Martin

As the most recent addition to the Arkestra Discos roster, Alizzz’s glittering take on 80s funk and millennial R&B is proving to be a worthy bedfellow to the Spanish labels stylings of electronica and hip hop. The label is driven by a desire to show a more playful side to the genres, as well as actively promote the intrinsic Spanish element of their mission statement.

As labelhead Mweslee told us late last year, Arkestra Discos was born out of frustration and enthusiasm in equal measure; as artists looking for a collective which could speak to their myriad of musical influences as well as create a way to promote the Spanish language aspects of their sounds.

Whilst the majority of Arkestra are Galician, Alizzz hails from Barcelona and having taken cues from the local club scene, his creative affinity with the rest of the roster and the notable influence of producers such as Rustie, Debruit and Dabrye, Alizzz has produced some of the most overtly R&B work on the label so far. His music treads the line between the soaring chord progressions and anthemic snare bursts that send hands collectively skywards, and the bubbling half-time percussion that lends weight to the Spanish vocals that set Arkestra productions apart.

It’s all come together on his first EP for the label, the ‘Whoa!’ EP, which is released today and which Dummy is pleased to host the exclusive first stream of. Alongside the stream, Alizzz has briefly talked through the EPs four tracks, and the process that brought him to the final release – scroll down to read his thoughts.

Alizzz:Whoa! was the last song that I wrote for the EP. I felt like making a dancefloor track and I felt the release also really needed it. I was playing around with some 90s R&B harmonies when the chords came to me – once I get the melody down it’s pretty much done in my head, the rest of the beat comes very naturally from that point on. After playing it to some buddies though we all felt that it needed an element of rage, and that was when I thought of introducing some big male vocals to it, which eventually brought me to the track title too. I needed it to be a statement. Champagne began as an instrumental ballad, which was longer and a little faster than the final version. In its last phase I was thinking about sticking a hook lead synth into it, but Mweslee suggested a singer to add that extra element to it and we both had no doubt that Kongo Lacosta was the man for it. He really hit the mark on this one.”

In Chains takes a different route from the rest of the tracks because it’s based on a rave synth sample. To build that rave feeling I used a jungle snare but the early demo ended up sounding more like UK garage orientated, with the vocal sample pulled throughout the track rather than just the final cut. Although I loved it I felt in the end that it didn’t sit right within the EP as it was, so I wrote a new drum arrangement for the sake of consistency. I feel the final version has the right energy to it now. Turquoise shows my love for 80s synths – those stressed, open chords – and I like producing tracks like this that suggest a sort of calm, lush beauty. It keeps a steady flow with no major ups and down, which I felt was a good feeling to finish the EP on.”

You can buy the 12” via Arkestra Discos here, or digitally via iTunes here.