EP Stream: Edu Imbernon and DROOG’s Forward-Thinking Yet Accessible Spectral

Edu Imbernon is a Valencia, Spain-based songwriter, producer, remixer, DJ and head of renowned indie electronica label Eklektisch Records. Imbernon has received international attention for a sound that possesses of electronica, house music, and pop — and as a result, Imbernon has released material on a number of renowned electronica labels including Bedrock, Get Physical, Culprit, Suara Music and others, including his debut single “El Baile Aleman” featuring his friend and collaborator Coyu, which was named Beatport‘s “Best Underground Track of the Year” back in 2009. Adding to a growing international profile in electronic music circles, Imbernon has played at the Ultra Music Festival, and some of the world’s most renowned and important electronic music clubs in Berlin, London, Brazil, Amsterdam and Lebanon.

As a remixer, the Spanish producer, artist and label head has remixed work from the likes of the xx, Maya Jane Coles, X-Press 2, and those remixes have been played by the likes of renowned DJs such as John DigweedJamie Jones and DJ Sasha.

During the 5 year history of Eklektisch Records, the label has released original material and remixes from the likes of artists such as PleasurekraftBlond:ishHot Since 82Solomun, and David August, as well as close friends and newer talents Los SurubaSivesgaard and Dosem. So Imbernon is quite the tastemaker, as well.

DROOG is a Los Angeles-based DJ collective featuring Andrei Osyka, Brett Griffin and Justin Sloe, and from their formation over 7 years ago, the collective have steadily built a reputation for being at the forefront of forward-thinking dance music. As DJs, the collective have also developed a reputation for must-go parties that bring out some of house and techno’s brightest and biggest international names including Magda, Jamie Jones, Steve Bug, Martin Buttrich, Dixon, Visionquest, Nicolas Jaar, Dyed Soundorom, Shonky and others. They’ve quickly become internationally touring DJs and like Edu Imbernon have played some of the world’s best known clubs in Berlin, Brazil, London, Ibiza Paris, Moscow. and others — and their profile has expanded as they’ve played showcase parties at Winter Music Conference, Detroit Electronic Music Festival (now known as Movement Festival), BPM and Sonar Festival.

And much like Imbernon, they started their own label, Culprit which has also developed a reputation for being the home of a burgeoning underground scene as they’ve released work from the likes of Hot Natured, Lee Foss, Matt Tolfrey, Inxec, SECT (Soul Clap, Tanner Ross and Sergio Santos), Subb-an, MANIKLee Curtiss, Shonky, Adriatique, and Climbers. And as a production crew, the trio have worked with a number of labels including Crosstown Rebels, Supernature, Last Night on Earth and Get Physical; remixes for Culprit, Murmur, My Favorite Robot, Adjunct Audio and Lower East also getting attention.

Both acts are blowing up in electronic music circles, and they’ve recently teamed up for an EP together, Spectral. The effort began at Culprit’s Los Angeles space and came together in Imbernon’s Valencia recording space, and it marks Imbernon’s third release with Culprit and DROOG’s long-awaited Culprit debut — and it consists of two original tracks and two remixes. EP opener “Spectral” is a densely layered song that begins with layers of shimmering synths, synth stabs, swirling electronics and skittering percussion that quickly build up until the song’s conclusion. Sonically, the song reminds me a bit of Octo Octa‘s shimmering Between Two Selves — but with a loose yet propulsive feel.  “Smokefalls” begins with wobbling low end synths, hot flashes of cymbals, skittering percussion paired with cascading synths making the song sound quite a bit like Trans Europe Express-era Kraftwerk. The wAFF remix of “Spectral” adds a cosmic sheen and pushes the tempo towards room-rocking techno, while the Ruede Hagelstein remix of “Spectral” adds a sweaty tribal house feel to the song while retaining a subtle cosmic glow. Any individual song would rock a club but it also will cement both acts reputations as being champions of forward-thinking yet accessible electronic music.