Rolando Simmons – Summer Diary Two EP

4 out of 5

Label: Analogical Force

Produced by: Mattias Östling

Even though I am decisively not a fan of the season of Summer – hate is not too strong of a word, here – Rolando Simmons’ second part of his musical diary dedication to that time of year makes me nostalgic for it. Incredibly playful and warm, the majority of Simmons’ (aka Mattias Östling) work on this EP is of phenomenal balance: something new and yet nostalgic; experimental and yet familiar. Those latter halves of each of those pairings are not bad things, and it’s the way he smoothly steps between the two – back and forth – that makes the compositions very much his own, while surely owing to various notable electronic artists from over the years as well, mainly Global Goon’s slippy, soothing acid / electro (as on opener Squenz 16 42 53) and DMX Krew’s perfect sense of dancefloor restraint (Laniakea Supercouture).

The bounciness, funk-leaning tracks that open things up are daytime stuff; the evening closes with the elegiac and wonderfully chill Sunflower Transmission, which, again, sounds exactly as soothing as blissful-beat-ed as you’d want, but has enough nuance to it to remind that there’s a skilled hand at the boards. Inbetween, the transition from day to night gets a little more experimental, with Simmons favoring some more minimalistic, nigh-aggressive stuff, such as on Eaten Alive (mosquitos?). These tracks are definitely solid, but the nature of a 5-song EP has one scrutinizing the limited tracklist that much more, and these don’t feel quite as complete as the other songs, besides somewhat sticking out tonally.

Sequencing nitpicking aside, track for track, this is standout stuff, another example of a modern artist bringing in classic braindance and acid influences without outright mimicking them, and putting their own stamp on some amazing electro.