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EP Review: Erol Alkan – Illumination

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, the name Erol Alkan will surely call to mind the best of indie remixes. From Metronomy to Tame Impala, he’s worked his magic transforming indie hits into dancefloor-fillers since the early 2000s through his work at seminal indie nightclub Trash as a promoter turned DJ.

Despite an impressive back catalogue of mixes, producing credits and all-round successes, the Illumination EP is the first solo release we’ve actually ever heard from the man himself. Released through his own Phantasy Records and featuring just three tracks, it’s astonishing that it’s taken him so long.

From opening track ‘A Hold on Love’, it’s clear that Alkan can hold his own. It’s a dynamic house anthem from the off with a steady beat designed to bring out some serious dancing. Full of subtle electronic quirks, Alkan’s breed of house music is as intriguing as it is addictive. Its gentle build gives way to a surge of well executed drops, all set against the consistently layered beats that echo what we’ve heard in Alkan’s remixes.

Although cut from a similar cloth, ‘Bang’ takes on an acid house sound with its clipped electronic drums, repetitive synth melody and erratic composition. A charged accompaniment to any sweaty basement party, it’s definitely the most aggressive cut on offer here.

Final track ‘Check Out Your Mind’ showcases Alkan’s love for the psychedelic. Having been one of the men behind electro duo Beyond The Wizards Sleeve, it’s not surprising he has reprised psychedelic elements within his own work. A haze of pulsating electronics and vocal samples, it pushes boundaries with its many climaxes that will surely erupt many a dance floor.

With this short but sweet introduction to his solo work, Erol Alkan has proved with that he isn’t just confined to reworking other musician’s material and is perfectly ready to take charge of his own electronic creations.

- Sarah Joy

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