An addition to the kill the dj stable is something that, for us, really counts. Beyond Resident Advisor statistics and Beatport charts, signing a new project has always been, let's dare the expression ‘an act of love': an impulsion you can't resist, and something you need to take care of. Excitement, sincerity and commitment.
Our encounter with The Eyes in the Heat (aka Oliver Ho and Zizi Kanaan) wasn't ordinary. Ivan Smagghe was a fan of Oliver's other projects, Raudive and his label Wires, and Ivan let him know. For some stupid reason, Ivan thought Oliver lived in Berlin whereas they both live in London. The second, and more important, surprise came when Oliver mentioned that he was working on a ‘rockier' side project with a singer. A red flag rose instantly.
It did not take much to convince us of the exceptional quality and singularity of The Eyes in the Heat. From the first demos heard over a year ago, the combination of Oliver's ultra crisp angular techno and Zizi's vocals, their swampy approach to our common post punk-heritage (being conscious of your influences without idolizing them), their lo-fi but intricate use of electronics (doubled by Jerome's live drumming), blues and acid house... All this almost seemed tailor-made for us.
We all instantly conceived this collaboration as a long terproject and the present 12" is only a teaser for their soonready album. Their shack is our shack and vice versa. You'll find here all we love about them: a darkness that is never self-indulgent, grooves that lock you in but leave room for melodies, an ultra-tight production that manages to avoid feeling sanitized. Techno not Techno, Rock not Rock. Like us, they seem to be at ease on the edge of things.
"Amateur" shows exactly what The Eyes in the Heat are about and why it will be hard to file them in any box. 'Techno with guitars' is a tricky ball game but here's some club music that is not afraid to show its farm dog teeth. The "Dark Dub" mix strips the black leather right to the skin.
The southern bayou element inherent to The Eyes in the Heat comes alive in I used to be Spanish but we've strayed far from cliches. Cramps are Gods, we all know that, but this is music that looks ahead. Finally, Hold up rounds up this ‘definition of a style': an italo cowboy ride? Hypnotics and dissonance? Raw vocals and old-school drum machines? Yep, all that and more.