Yours & Mine
On the debut album by Berlin-based Dutch DJ/producer Steffi, you will discover an even further developed producer who shares her personal journey. A long period of intense experimentation and self-discovery led to this sensitive, instinctive and extremely insightful long-player. Carefully mixing old and new, warm analog synth and drum textures flow in unison with modern studio finesse over nine tracks, each telling its own story. Ethereal, hypnotic passages and positive, uplifting messages meet temperate, slow-building vibes and heart-wrenching moments. Often, simplicity blurs into satisfying complexity. Moments of sheer joy arise against the backdrop of a rich and elegantly-controlled exploration of sound. The opening track "Lilo" is a soothing, harmonious forecast of this deep dance music album; swirling, and reduced. A warm solid state thump drives it however, and it becomes clear that the beauty in Steffi's house music lies in this meeting of classic, emotion-drenched melodies and bold, earthy drums. The tactile "Piem" rises and climbs with a strong late-night intensity before "Yours" featuring Virginia comes to the fore. Striking a clever balance between positive, addictive pop and straight-up club energy, this vocal-led future-classic is a loud and proud testament to how far Steffi has come -- not only as a producer, but as a DJ who understands the need for balance, control and release. Perhaps an ode to the many foundations of house that have no doubt inspired Steffi, "Arms" is a string-led jack track, a slow burner in the best sense, and all the better for it. Similarly, "Manic Moods" sells itself on the strength of its handful of carefully-crafted analog synth lines, slowly fusing to become one while her beats urge us forward. The urgent, sci-fi tones and extended, soaring strings of "Mine" bring it back to the club as heady images of warehouses past, present and future flash before you. This retro-futurism is then taken further with the muscular "Nightspacer," whose NY house roots are fleshed out by blossoming pads and an unstoppable, throbbing, traveling vibe. Drawing the album towards its close, the deeply spaced "You Own My Mind," featuring Virginia's beautifully smooth vocals, washes over and wraps around you in a melancholic blanket of sound. Deeply personal to the last, "Moving Lips" could be that special last embrace; one more moment to end the night and yet keep you longing for more.