There’s a moment about midway through Tokyo producer Eriqu’s “Gang Star” where a familiar sample – of dogs barking, or more accurately someone imitating dogs barking – pops up. It has become a common sample in Jersey Club tracks, and as more and more track makers from around the world take that style and play with it, that woof-woofing has popped up in all sorts of unlikely places. It usually is a fun little sound. Yet on the half glossy, half rough opener to Eriqu’s Dark Romance EP, those barks are mixed in such a way to sound close to the ear and somewhat fuzzed out. It sounds intimidating…and adds to the unease bubbling across the track.
That tension pops up across the EP in various forms, familiar sounds taking on new interpretations. “Merry Go Round” matches crystalline synths up against just-off-center keyboard hits and more Jersey-centric surges. It isn’t quite as in your face, but something still feels off…while the track itself is perfectly solid. Eriqu writes that this is his interpretation of “trap,” though I’m not sure how much something as wobbly (in a good way) as “Mind Game” resembles your typical “trap” number. It is far more interesting and unnerving than that. Get it here, or listen below.