Back in December 2014, Elias Mazian debuted on Voyage Direct with a 12” that perfectly encapsulated his open-minded but interconnected approach to electronic music. He’d already showcased this ability to blend sounds and styles by becoming one of the most talked-about DJs on the Amsterdam scene. With “Future Times” (and its superb flipside, “They Don’t Know”), Mazian gave notice of his undeniable production credentials.
Fast forward to the summer of 2017, and Mazian is ready to drop an EP that not only confirms his status as a rising star of Dutch dance music, but also showcases a newfound ability to combine a finely-tuned sense of what works on the dancefloor with the kind of compositional skills that can take a lifetime to perfect.
The Duplicate EP is an altogether more mature proposition than his debut 12”, but retains many of the sounds and influences that marked out his first appearance on Voyage Direct – not least his love of spacey electronics, mood-enhancing chord progressions and sparkling synthesizer motifs.
This can be heard in particular on the title track, an ear-catching club jam that wraps chiming melodies, Mazian’s own rapped vocal refrains and electro-era synths around a gently jacking, Chicago style house groove. It’s deep, poignant and attractive, with subtle nods to the dreamy Windy City deep house of Larry Heard, the retro-futurist boogie business of Moon B and Dam Funk, and the kaleidoscopic electronic funk of Parliament.
Further proof of Mazian’s increased musical maturity can be heard in the breathtaking “Dream Mix” of “Duplicate”. Featuring a yearning, almost melancholic vocal from the producer himself, the remix offers an analogue style deep house interpretation bristling with cascading melody lines, classic Chicago house bass and bubbly, deep space electronics.
The EP closes with superb bonus cut “Ride That Shit Baby”, an expansive chunk of mind-altering analogue deep house full of restless ride cymbals, crunchy drum machine hits, starburst electronics, delay-laden organ lines and swirling chord progressions. It’s as intricately programmed and produced as anything Mazian has released to date, and twice as emotion-rich. In some ways, it’s the perfect end to an EP in which Mazian brilliantly showcases the depth and breadth of his emerging talent.