With releases on labels such as Riotvan and Lobster Theremin, Panthera Krause champions a brand of house music that is melodic and emotive yet gentle. Umami is the Leipzig producer’s latest release on Dresden based label Uncanny Valley – known for offering up a mixed bag of artists that often defy categorisation. Umami channels the fun vibe the label is known for, and has a more upbeat and cheerful feel compared to previous releases from Krause as a solo artist. Utilising a creative range of samples, the four track EP focuses on melody and draws on Krause’s electro-pop roots, as well as a myriad of other genres.
Title track Umami is a super fun dance floor anthem and perhaps one of the most club orientated tracks Krause has ever created. A digi-organ adds a thespian vibe and swells over a pounding bass line. A raw vocal loop cuts through the organ haze, while spacey arpeggio synths and sudden bursts of strings add to the drama. In contrast, Howling for July utilises abstract beat structures and is more soft and subtle than the title track. The bassline riff kicks in and the track builds steadily with beautiful flurries of echoing flutes. The highlight of the track is the stunning breakdown, which then tumbles back down to the bass line riff and picks up its original groove once again.
Z-Cuts changes the mood altogether, opting for an ominous sci-fi feel with it’s obscure sirens and twitching beats drifting in and out of acid. It’s very different to Krause’s usual sound and although it is an interesting direction, isn’t quite as convincing as the other cuts on the record. Closer, The Space Between Us offers something totally different again, being the most delicate track of the bunch. Sustain-drenched minor piano chords, an echoing bell, a loping rhythm and heavenly vocals build a goosebump-inducing piece of music. Beautiful and melancholic, the piece plays to all of Krause’s strengths and would work perfectly in the score of a film.
Umami takes the listener in a different direction to Panthera Krause’s earlier work. It plays with varying atmospheres and has something for any sort of mood or occasion. It’s fun, colourful, and makes for a solid release from the Leipzig producer.