If you are an artist represented by the avant-garde Mexico City label and collective Ensamble, then there’s no doubt you have a small but committed group of people with your best interest in mind. Carlos Cruz and Bárbara Ruiz launched the project three years ago to support artists at every stage of their careers, but also to create a stable, ethical, and sustainable platform of high-quality event production that treats talent fairly. As Ensamble continues to push forward and find new ways to innovate, it’s become a creative hotbed for artists looking to professionalize, without having to compromise artistic integrity. It’s also become a go-to for fans and promoters in search of new and exciting underground artists.
Producer David Silva, whose work as one half of the duo Colts has given him the chops to work traditional techno dance floors, has decided to experiment with darker and more distorted timbres under the moniker Practice. He’s the latest addition to the Ensamble roster and his new EP Hounds is set for release on February 24, with a sneak peek called “Shadow Tracker” premiering today at Remezcla.
While we do get a sense of Practice’s artistic vision, “Shadow Tracker” maintains the structured and dance-friendly feel found in his previous compositions. For Silva, Hounds is a step towards more experimental territory, and that manifests mostly as buried distortion and loud, raw mixing. This is a common practice for producers looking to add more grit and layers of conceptual abstraction to their tracks, though they can’t solely rely on it. That being said, “Shadow Tracker” is raw and gritty, with a great percussive backbone and a murky reprise that makes us feel like we are being watched over. It’s not experimental per se, but it works.
Silva is in an exploratory moment not only musically, but also in his approach to composition. He is a hardware-based musician – meaning he doesn’t perform with a computer – but a computer was used to write some parts of the album. A creative shift like this is promising, and with “Shadow Tracker,” Practice is setting a high bar.
Practice’s Hounds drops on February 24 via Ensamble.