Review Summary: relax
Nowadays, there is a strange abundance of ‘retro revival’ across various mediums of art and entertainment. Perhaps this resurgence is grounded in some inherent desire to pay homage to our influences or to return to our roots – or in some cases, maybe it is just easier to imitate someone who could do it better. Milán Zaks (known as DJ Sports) is someone whose music brings this theme to mind, while somehow managing to sidestep these familiar connotations entirely. His debut LP, Modern Species
, is a collection of texturally rich house music which often brings progenitors of the style to mind without ever making it obvious why that is. Here, DJ Sports spins the 4/4 dreams of our past into a modern light in a record quietly bursting with heart, floating along a fresh breeze with no end in sight.
What seems to be the cause of this, and what is perhaps Modern Species’
greatest asset, is DJ Sports’ impressive juxtaposition of various styles of electronic music. From the first three tracks alone, we hear deadlocked house grooves one might expect (“Fertile Crescent”), but also a swath of vibrant synths over precise drum kicks (“World A”) and lackadaisical ambient noodling (“Stellar Clusters”). This should feel jarring, but it never feels like a misguided choice due to DJ Sports’ grasp of atmosphere and cohesion that spans his stylistic meldings. Modern Species’
on the whole is an exercise in serenity and organicism – each song finding its own niche in the same oasis.
For all DJ Sports’ displays of variance – and I can’t emphasize enough how much ground Modern Species’
feels like it covers in its runtime, between an avid fusion of house, footwork, ambient and the like – each drifting moment feels host to a hazy memory of halcyon days, carefully sealed away from time. It closes with “Reluctant Memory,” an appropriately titled, slow retread of what has passed before and a reminder that reality does exist. Until you hit replay, anyway.