Kate Simko’s latest album Lights Out is a boom-chik, but somehow it manages to be quite fresh in the oversaturated house genre. The sounds are clean but have character and the mixing itself is beautifully done. Each line is clear and distinct, each drum hit exists well within the balance of each song. Nothing too complicated, just a groove. And for being such a simple idea, you’d think it was impossible to achieve that considering how many really poorly done tracks you can hear floating by.
Starting with two dance-floor initiators, “Beneath” and “Flight Into BA,” Simko is admittedly spoonfeeding us just a little bit, but if you’re not in the mood to just let the tunes roll over you, you’re probably not in the mood to listen to this album. You have to admit that it’s nice every once in a while, however, to be able to hear every single thing that is going on in a track, almost like it’s painting a crayon drawing for the people who aren’t ready to graduate to paints yet.
“Mira Vos” bumps the energy level up a little bit with a techno-disco bassline and arpeggiated undertones, while the super simple drum machine percussion line sits up high in the mix to grab your attention with the high frequency hits and shimmers that get you swaying in your seat, assuming you haven’t quite had the indication that it’s time to get on your feet yet.
Lights Out is Simko’s debut album, and call it success that it was released by seminal label Hello?Repeat out of Berlin. Along with this being her first major album release, Simko also made sure that her performances soon after it were chock full of visual treats that made the EDM community stand up and take notice.
Out on tour, Kate plays with some of the heavy hitters like Matthew Dear, Ryan Elliot, and the Spectral Sound collaborators, so she is in good company even when she isn’t headlining major artistic events with her own brand of the tech/house/ambient tunes that she is becoming more widely known for.
Lights Out is an extremely mature collection of tunes, and deserves a focused listen from front to back if you aren’t familiar with any other of Simko’s work and you haven’t had a chance to see her live yet. It’s wide but comfortable, and tracks like “Mind On You” make you feel like you’ve known Kate since she was in grade school. The space between the beats are as important as the beats themselves, and her consistent use of the mini-rhythmic break keeps the bump going without overdoing it. Look for more great things to come from this artist in the future…