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Tunisia's HearThuG Makes Long-Awaited Return with ‘Planet Rhythm X' EP

Breaks, tech-house, acid, garage and even a little jazz, HearThuG return is a typical mishmash of sounds, masterfully pulled together in a four-track EP released on the UK’s Banoffee Pies Records.

It’s been some time since we last saw a release from prolific Tunisian producer, HearThuG, a man whose talent and musical brilliance is unquestionable. An influential figure on the electronic music scene in Tunisia, he has consistently won acclaim for his outstanding selections, boasts a memorable Boiler Room set to his name and is the co-founder of Are You Alien Records.

The producer/DJ is a maestro when it comes to acid and house-tinted breakbeat productions, a sound that has become a trademark. For his latest release, Planet Rhythm X, he’s found a kindred spirit in UK-based Banoffee Pies Records, a label known for its eclectic releases and selectiveness - it's a label that doesn’t work with just anyone and it speaks volumes of HearThuG’s talents.Opener ‘Earthling’ kicks off with an ethereal feel courtesy of ascending pads and acid chops thrown throughout the track. The percussion provides a sense of chaos to the track, the use reverse crashes and an unpredictable arrangement also settling it into a groove, as the acid bleeps fluctuate throughout. The second track - the title track - acts as a kind of continuation of ‘Earthling’, the modulated acid line providing the main attraction alongside a rugged but wobbly bassline. The synths interact together in a call-and-response manner and eventually leads the track into spacey, floaty dimension before dropping to the funky drums and wobbly bass.

HearThuG then slows things down with the aptly-named ‘The Land of the Never Ending Acid Jazz’, an elegant fusion of tantalising jazz keys, trumpet chops, wiggly bells and, of course, a distinctly acid synth. A soaring soundtrack to an adventure, the track takes you on a trip of emotions through a number of different textures. HearThuG is a master at bringing together lots of elements and honing them into both one sound and letting them shine independently. The instrumentation keeps going back and forth, breaking down the sense of expectation with a surprise around every corner. He closes things with ‘Love Lesson’, a choppy breaks-inspired creation that features artist, Fig Republic, whose vocals bring an intangible pregnancy to the ensemble alongside the airy pad. The soft acid chops and static bleeps find a home within the chopped percussion and jungle-sounding hi-hats.

All in all, despite its brief runtime, Planet Rhythm X combines a huge amount of sounds and styles. Inside four tracks, you’ll hear influences of house, breaks, tech-house, acid, 2-step, UK garage, a hint of jungle and even jazz. Few if any musical practitioners in the region can juggle so much, but true to form he plays the role of maestro in fine fashion.