Karsten Sollors is on a roll

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      Karsten Sollors
      Hold Lock EP (Farris Wheel)

      A master of producing tech house tracks with rolling one-bar loops, Karsten Sollors has a special expertise in making his music sonically gripping. Dropping sounds and melodies in and out, and understanding exactly when to muzzle or unleash accented rhythms, the producer and DJ has built his brand around subtle variations.

      Sollors’s music, then, is about patience—a technique that the Vancouver-born Chicago resident has perfected on his latest EP, Hold Lock.

      Freshly appointed to a new monthly residency on England’s This Is Electric radio show, and slated next week to play on London-based label Anjunadeep’s stage at the Spring Awakening Festival, it’s unsurprising that Sollors has infused the bass line of the record’s title track with a U.K. flavour. Building from a short low-frequency riff and uncomplicated drum line, “Hold Lock” weaves classic 808 sounds around short, echoed vocal samples that lengthen into a full spoken-word discussion. Running at 125 BPM, the song’s pithy, acid-imbued feel is punctuated by Sollors’s expert use of high-pass filters and forceful kick drum.

      Despite firing at a similar pace, B-side “The Hood” showcases a different vibe. Again drawing on spoken-word snippets, the song incorporates everything from subtle police sirens to almost inaudible synth pads, while still showing off musical elements that will be familiar to Chicago house aficionados.

      An aggressively danceable EP, Hold Lock is a versatile and upbeat release that pushes Sollors’s catalogue in positive directions.