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Gabe Gurnsey
Diablo Laviea Thomas , September 12th, 2022 07:58

Rinsed in 808 beats, and tropical synths, Diablo is an immersive burst of colour, finds Laviea Thomas

House music seems to have had quite the moment this summer, and as we slowly approach autumn, artists continue to run with it. Out via Erol Alkan’s Phantasy Sound label, Gabe Gurney’s Diablo is a flirtatious project filled with a rich selection of distorted and eerie sounds. It follows on from the Factory Floor member’s much praised solo debut, Physical (a former tQ Album of the Week, in 2018). That record saw Gurnsey trademark his particular take on sultry production and tantalising beats. Returning five years down the line, Gurnsey turns up the intensity across a shorter time span. Compressing five year’s work into a ten track LP, Diablo is an album made for a steamy club night. Collaborating with his partner Tilly Morris for accompanying vocals, together the pair create an edging selection of hypnogenic songs.

The record opens with ‘Push’, a rather intrusive track which offers a huge injection of serotonin. ‘Push’ has the same addictive euphoria you feel when you’ve just dropped a fat hallucinogen. It’s the ultimate club house track, bursting with penetrative bass wobbles – hooking you into the LP with immediate effect.

Across the LP, the production is really polished. Each instrument you hear has its own spotlight. No sound passes by without calling to the listener seductively. As the jolt of third track ‘Power Passion’, (with its protruding synth lines), passes into the next track, ‘You Remind Me’, Gurnsey turns up the sexual tension between the listener and the album. Thanks to its hefty six-and-a-half-minutes in length, ‘You Remind Me,’ takes you through a euphoric journey of breathy ad libs and hard hitting beats. Easily one of a few true album standouts.

Concluding track, ‘To the Room’ makes for an alluring single, if initially tamer sounding than the rest, and perfectly finishes off the project with its delicate touches of distorted guitar. As you make your way through Diablo, you can’t help but envision the sweating bodies, erratic strobe lights, and uncoordinated dance moves. Gurnsey here bounces back with a project nostalgic of the late 80s and early 90s club scene – a very characteristic return for a most uncharacteristic artist.