For the second installment of its renewed imprint, Fuse’s own in-house resident and one of Belgium’s proudest exports Phara takes the reins for a deep dive into thick percussion and vibrant club landscapes. ‘The Wall’ puts current dance music under a microscope with a brush of truly vintage spontaneity, merging techno’s confrontational nature with house’s harmonic genuineness. This duality is reflected through Phara’s own relationship with his home base Fuse and the complementary contrast between its two rooms.
The EP’s title track serves as a hypnotic introduction for the A1, imposing a bass-heavy rhythm and a persistently oscillating synthline. A dense production full of energy, ‘The Wall’ inspires intrigue throughout its duration, revealing its true intentions through a capable sound system. Sharing the first side of the press is ‘Blaes 208’, a name that Fuse club goers will likely recognise, that guides the listener from effect into embrace. With lush keys echoing past a comforting drum sequence fit for a close-eyed dancefloor experience, Phara’s impactful tendencies meet his affinity for the melodic through a blissful six minutes of crowd to selector connection. Switching sides, a return to a cold cold aesthetic is quickly apparent through ‘Hush Now 206’. A pummeling, saturated bass competes with a kick of equal effect, rolling through a storm of metallic stabs. Mastering the message of urgency, Phara presents a lightshow of resonating percussive work, defining his space just to cut right through it.
To close out with a lasting impression, the producer mutes the acoustics of his work through razor-sharp sound design dotting along playful snares, a duality reminiscent of the dynamism of Detroit electro. ‘Motion Steps’, referring to the stairs that ascend from Fuse’s main room to its more left-field counterpart, captures the atmosphere of the almost shimmering music that can be expected to be played there; a place where Phara and many others have been known to explore the extremities of their music. He swiftly throws in melodic elements to recontextualize an otherwise pressing composition, and after three chapters of considerable weight, he concludes his record with infectious groove that flaunts technical ability.