Projecting a forward-thinking sound palate driven by deep musicality and collaborative, creative endeavour, all eyes have been firmly set on Elif’s nascent Marginalia imprint since its inaugural release back in September. Intent on pushing the envelope with each passing release, the Barcelona-based label now looks to conclude the year on a high, as it unveils the fourth EP in its ever-growing catalogue.
For the final release of 2023, label boss Elif was proud to welcome Turkish-born, Berlin-based producer Bákayan and German talent Groove Shack for their respective label debuts, as they present their brand new ‘Neowl’ EP.
Recognised by some of the industry’s best selectors for their inimitable, avant-garde productions, both Bákayan and Groove Shack’s ability to synergize complex textures with underground rave aesthetics is second to none. Now, teaming up for their first official collaborative release together, the two artists continue in this vein, as they explore the limitless boundaries of raw, underground house music with minimal grooves and dark, stirring tones.
Twitchy drum patterns, expertly manipulated vocal drops and gritty basslines ignite the three-track package, as Bákayan and Groove Shack take us on an intense peak time journey through the chaotic opener ‘Neowl’. Scouted by Elif for their experimental soundscapes and trippy atmospheres, the duo’s uniquely underground treatment on the EP title track is beautifully dark and hypnotic, engaging the listener from the very first kickdrum.
On remix duties, the middle order sees the introduction of Berlin-based producer and Kater Blau resident Sascha Cawa. Also landing on Marginalia for the first time, boasting a string of highly regarded career releases on the likes of Bar 25, Katermukke and Voltaire, the in-demand producer digs deep on his remix of ‘Neowl’ as he fuses intricate polyrhythms with industrial analog samples to put his own inimitable spin on the rousing title track.
Lastly, and completing the three-part package, is ‘Doppelganger’, a more ravey, old school offering featuring rap vocals in Turkish from Bákayan and in English from Groove Shack. Delivering incredible energy and melodic dissonance across its duration, Bákayan and Groove Shack capitalise on their innate ability to draw you into a new, yet familiar construct, as they explore a remarkable array of timbres from across the house music spectrum to close out another impeccable EP on the budding Barcelona-based label.
Speaking about his Marginalia debut, Bákayan commented;
“Marginalia, a captivating project helmed by my dear friend, Elif, has left an indelible mark on me. Her unwavering professionalism and discerning taste in music are truly commendable. When we introduced ‘Neowl’ to her, its resonance with the Marginalia ethos was palpable. My trust in Elif, both as an artist and businessperson, is unwavering, prompting ‘Neowl’ and ‘Doppelganger’ to find their rightful place within this venture.
These tracks seamlessly blend dark, seductive vibes perfect for a club atmosphere. The remix of Neowl, skillfully crafted by Berlin DJ and producer Sascha Cawa, adds another layer of artistry to the mix. With my own vocals; this time taking a darker, more spoken tone, I eagerly await sharing this project with the world.”
Marginalia label boss Elif continued:
“Bákayan and Groove Shack are two artists that I’ve been championing a lot in my sets over the past year and I’m super happy to finally have them releasing on Marginalia. Having another Turkish artist on the label (in Bákayan) is also an incredibly special moment for me. The way they’ve been able to merge the worlds of electronic music and Turkish rap on ‘Doppelganger’ represents the very ethos of the label and is something I’m very proud of.”
Bákayan, Groove Shack – Neowl EP (Incl. Sascha Cawa Remix) is out via Marginalia. Grab it HERE!