Salva – Complex Housing

Salva – Complex Housing
Frite Nite: 2011

The fog and tempering winds make the San Francisco Bay Area an ideal spot for making wine. The Bay Area is also home to Paul Salva, head of the record label Frite Nite,  and Salva has uncorked an impressive, jamming debut album.

Complex Housing got its full release on Feb. 8 and features 14 tracks of joyriding synthesizers, funky bass and indelible grooves. And while Salva is based out of San Fran, his music owes more to his Chicago roots and the brand of the grimy house music that oozed out of the city in the ’80s. Instead of depending on vocals and sheer driving force for direction, though, Salva uses modernized sounds that aim more at acid house.

Sliding in capably next  to such contemporaries as Glitch Mob, Girl Unit, and Tobacco, Salva is the latest in a seemingly endless onslaught of envelope-pushing producers. Salva’s songs similarly spin hypnotic, nodding grooves, employing vocals as little more than an accompanying instrument. The lone track that utilizes a vocalist is “40 Karats”, an aggressively artistic eardrum assault featuring Zackey Force Funk.

The synths are the real star here, layering the record with sopping funk and peppering tracks with swerving solos. On the opening cut “Beached”, the synths sweep in at the 15-second mark and the glitchy beat is perfect background color for the bursting beeps and ballsy bass. “Wake Ups” is the album’s first single and the melody is drenched with deep, saucy production. The synths on “Icey” cascade down on looping vocals and a sampled effect (“What!”) to form the deepest groove on the album.

Even the bonus tracks carry weight here. More than simply add-ons or cast-offs. Label mates and collaborators take his tunes in interesting directions, a pleasant four song palate cleanser.

While the record isn’t earth shattering and the sounds do tend to shade together, it’s fun – and a capable, if non-threatening, entry to today’s burgeoning producing catalogue.

[audio:|titles=Salva – “Wake Ups”]
3 out of 5

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