Josu Mämmi is a Finnish bossa nova drummer-cum-producer who, until very recently, made music on the minimal techno and chill house spectrum, and he seemed to be gaining purchase there. His 2016 Spring Summer ’16 earned a 9.5 rating on DJ Mag. Now with his new two-song single, “Organized Planning/Priviledge of Analyzing,” however, Mämmi seems to be making a few nods at retro electronica.
“Organized Planning” seems to be the a-side on the single. From the opening, listeners will feel like they’re in the opening credits of an ’80s movie – Working Girl perhaps. After that the ’80s just gets ramped up even more with a snare-heavy breakbeat matching the ’80s synth, and a vocal which, indeed, is saying some form of “breakbeat” throughout. On the breakdown of this track, things get a little more esoteric as Mämmi brings in some swelling, vacuum-wave synths. Said synths are still clearly retro, however, but it’s somehow a more modern arrangement.
Mämmi made both tracks using retro equipment: an OP-1 synthesizer and a slightly more modern Elektron Octatrack Sampler. “Priviledge of Analyzing” shows Mämmi flexing the Elektron’s sampling capabilities a little more, as it seems this track was built almost entirely from ’70s and ’80s electronic samples. The sound design is what’s really notable here; the way Mämmi screws together the samples is done in an experimental way. It’s sort of a Frankenstein’s monster of Tangerine Dream and Herbie Hancock. It’s nostalgic and retro but also very interesting and contemplative.
Josu Mämmi has definitely taken a bit of a left turn from his chill house and minimal techno sounds influenced by Ibiza and bossa nova on “Organized Planning/Priviledge of Analyzing,” but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Playing with sound design always helps an EDM artist flex his or her production muscles, and it seems Mämmi is getting a pretty good workout, with great results.
“Organized Planning/Priviledge of Analyzing” are available now to stream on Josu Mämmi’s SoundCloud, with purchase links to be announced soon.