Sunsplash, the musical project of Venezuelan producer and former Todosantos member Alberto Stangarone, is back with a brand new five-track EP he decided to simply call 13. This also represents his debut on Mexican imprint Casete, the label is handling the EP’s digital distribution.
The number 13 represents change, but it’s not necessarily apparent on the EP’s first few minutes, at least musically. Featuring his frequent collaborator Alissa María, opener “La Punta” could sit comfortably on the tracklist of his previous album, ≈fantasma≈. We hear him digging deeper into his UK influence, while his vocal delivery is now signature Sunsplash, rapping words laced with provocative Venezolanismos.
Now, on “Boy” we’re talking change. The first single off the EP, in collaboration with singer Pía Páez and electronic up-and-comer Ferraz, sees Sunsplash in a completely different place. A place filled with pop melodies and R&B references, and fat plastic synths that fill the room. He returns to his tropical approach on “Delfines,” a house track where his Caraquenian flow and vocabulary prevent it from falling into a Disclosure imitation.
The last two songs are where he takes the biggest risks. “Lucero” is a hard slow-burner, with piano chords that provide hints of sadness, and heavily-processed vocals that glide both soulfully and inhumanly at the same time. The closer “Chimes,” featuring insanely talented Venezuelan multi-instrumentalist Gabriel Figueira, is Sunsplash as we’ve never heard him before. It’s an ethereal track backed by a steady 4/4 kick drum and a droning sound, where sparse, reverb-soaked sounds appear and disappear, while Figueira improvises on his flute.
13 doesn’t feel as cohesive as a whole as it could, but it definitely represents a step forward for Stangarone as a producer. It showcases versatility and it’s a rather thrilling hint of what’s next to come from him.