"Ah, today seems different. It feels like we're going to have a quiet, uneventful and peaceful day." A vocal sample repeats these words a few times and then LoSoul's trademark drums kick in. These are familiar and reassuring drums, reminding you that Germany's Peter Kremier has been knocking out his unique brand of skeletal house for a remarkable thirteen years. The off-kilter percussion on "Slightly" is a direct descendent of classics such as "Soul Down" and "Raw Beauty." Despite the initial promise of an uneventful and peaceful day, there's a lot happening on this record: squeaky springs bounce like the busted shocks on some old pickup truck, a few whipping metallic sounds quiver in the background, and garbled vocal samples drift across the top. Each sound is carefully defined and given its moment to shine, fleshing out a playful song that gradually moves from initial cartoon slapstick into some serious robo-funk.
"Gridlock" is anything but gridlocked. The track races at a decent clip, propelled by a simple one-note keyboard stab and a wonderfully extended sub-bass. The dense percussion clatters along, peppered with a few scuffed-up vocal clips of laughter and the old standby pronouncement of "bass." One of Losoul's greatest powers is his ability to create minimal tracks that are neither gloomy nor academic, which is more difficult than it sounds. By putting a bit of spin on the tail of a chord or dropping in a brassy squiggle every few measures, his tracks stand out in a genre that's often joyless. Losoul's tracks usually grin from ear to ear, and "Gridlock" is no exception.