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Steps, the debut EP from Slow Steve aka Rémi Letournelle (Fenster) is a combination of mantra pop, sexy beats, and hit single karaoke with instruments, under the influence of Ariel Pink, Air, Caribou, and even Balinese music. Its six tracks were produced by Tadklimp (Fenster) in Berlin and are dedicated to old analog synthesizers. The opening track, "Minuit," feels like the echo of a party that never ends, an invitation to dance again and again. Minimalist arrangements, nagging loops, and a noisy Korg MS20 bring a touch of irony that suggests the song is less an invitation to forget daily worries than a ritualistic release. It's a rendezvous in the middle of the night, a nod to those who dance as if time doesn't exist. "Sun Moon" closes that party with tenderness, a tropical sound, and strong melodies that bring in the early morning sun, ending with an eccentric, joyful percussive performance. "Prince de Combat" further develops the Slow Steve aesthetic with instrumental dreamy choruses and an electronic waltz that slowly evolves toward a spectacular finish. The intense second half is an ode to electronic instruments, some kind of analog synth poem. "Vostok" may be the most representative song of the EP. The tone is detached but still attractive. The instrumentation is surprisingly diversified: a guitar joins synthesizers, a human voice and a vocoder duet; both excited and nonchalant, rousing and non-linear, this track sums up all the richness of Steps. "Break My Soul" is the exception to the rule. A noisy loop made with a used mechanical piano, crushed percussions, and a tired organ. An ironic interlude, like in a shaky carousel. Finally, "Aquabed" is the intimate EP's conclusion. Rhythms have disappeared, instrumentation gets down to basics. The French vocals tell the story of a journey on a hybrid vehicle, a souvenir from some utopia. It describes affection for ghosts of technology and the source of creation they represent.
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