“Chamralisa”, the second track off Dutch producer Beau Zwart’s latest EP, Mazza Maze, is dance music at its most eclectic. While it’s not unexpected for European DJ’s to incorporate elements of world music into their own brand of specialty house music (especially for a certain subset of highly revered, genre-agnostic artists like Four Tet, DJ Koze, Daphni, Floating Points, et al.), what defines Beau’s approach is its buoyant, freewheeling joy and irreverent spirit.
Beau’s slightly tongue-in-cheek intentions are clear from the get-go, as a standard house four-to-the-floor drum-line is intertwined with a Sitar and an Indian male folk singer singing in enchanting, somber tones. This type of sonic and cultural juxtaposition is at the heart of what makes this track tick. As the track builds, more and more disparate elements find their way in, each playing off the other in ingenious, surprisingly harmonious ways. Where Beau excels is in his sense of restraint, knowing when to strip back some elements and allow others to breathe. The aforementioned folk singing lends the track a misleadingly austere tone when isolated, but to counteract this, Beau introduces the female background singers for the chorus, buoyed by a piano riff straight out of an 80’s sci-fi flick, a G-Funk synth line that would feel right at home in a Dâm-Funk track, and hi-hat percussion nodding to classic Chicago house.
On paper, this reads as a potentially volatile mix, but Beau makes it seem impossible to doubt how seamlessly these elements all work together. INI Movement, the Amsterdam based imprint behind Mazza Maze, whose releases vary from House to Jazz to Afro-beat and Funk, have discovered here an exciting new artist who completely embodies their own eclectic, continent-hopping ethos.