Aside from having a mouthful of a name that’s a pain to type and funny to say, Edwin Van Cleef consistently releases top notch productions that run the gambit from the disco to the deep to the tropical. “Nala” is a fusion of these styles. Van Cleef is also no stranger to these parts, as his and Jane Hanley’s cover of “Lisztomania” is a perfect 10/full blown EMPT classic. EVC is also a proud member of what I refer to as the “No Drop Zone,” meaning he makes great dance music that doesn’t rely on shock value. Like fellow Brits Russ Chimes and Louis La Roche, Cleef makes a very smooth and awesome mixture of House and Nu Disco that bobs and weaves its way through the zone, rather than simply climbing for the inevitable smack in the face. And like those other stellar Brits, anything put out by EVC is generally a 5-star effort.
EVC’s “Summer Best Pals” rework of “Nala” is a fluid jam along the lines of the Falke classic “8:08 PM On the Beach.” There are no lyrics and not tremendous variation within the song, but the synth work and loops will have you in a very summery trance. I have a really strong affinity for songs without words that are able to fully distract me from my inner thoughts and dominate my ears. Good electronic music doesn’t really need words (although they are nice)–it’s the ebbs and flows that carry the music. Very awesome/my favorite producers like Alan Braxe, Lifelike, Falke, Chimes, and an assorted bunch that includes EVC have this innate ability and touch. It’s a very magical one.
“Nala” captures that European beach party vibe, if the beach is a private one with your closest friends. And I’d be remiss not to add that Nala is, of course, the name of Simba’s girl in The Lion King. Which is just a phenomenal title choice for a song. Grab a pal, pop a cold one, and pump this jam up.
While the instrumental work is clearly dope, it’s a shame EVC doesn’t work with vocalists more frequently, because when he does, it’s sex in a bucket.