Supreme Cuts - Divine Ecstasy
The title of Supreme Cuts' sophomore album describes it best: Divine Ecstasy. The Chicago, Illinois based DJ duo (Mike Perry and Austin Kjeultes) have been thumping and bumping in the basement of the electronic music scene since 2011 with their Trouble EP and debut album, Whispers In The Dark. Divine Ecstasy gives quite the rush with hypnotic beats and auto-tuned voices that will take the listener to a zen place, either in their bedrooms or on the dance floor at a club.
'Intro' and 'Epilogue' are the most distinct songs and set the tone for a wondrous exploration of sound wherein the album comes around full circle. From the beginning, the sound continues to build up until it reaches the climax and then descends to a satisfying end. Divine Ecstasy features many different artists that all contribute to Supreme Cuts' clean production differently, enhancing the sound of the album in their own way. (Of course, these tracks are inevitably the instant favourites on the LP.) Together, they all evoke a sense of unity.
The collaboration between Supreme Cuts and Shy Girls on 'Cocktails' is one of those rare instances where the listener is given something that they never knew they wanted, but subconsciously needed. This track sets us up for the electro-R&B crossover that is ultimately dominating the music world with full permission. It can't be denied- romance is in the air, but sometimes we all crave a little bump and grind. On 'Gone' and 'On My Mind', Mahaut Mondino brings out the beats' soul with her foxy voice. This is where the tunes show their intimate side and unravel those delicate, synthesized layers. Fy's vocals on 'Faded' also give life to what would have been a basic EDM score. Instead of blacking out, the listener is likely to feel more awake and energized than ever before. Channy Leaneagh (vocalist of Poliça) is sensational on the pulse-raising 'Envision'. This track is bound to get the adrenaline racing in a frenzy as the upbeat tempo bends around Channy's compelling voice. 'Down' featuring Jody has a real hip-hop feel to it, and 'ISIS' follows this example as well with Haleek Maul and Bago spitting the verses behind the lush beats. This subtle shift from R&B to hip-hop makes Divine Ecstasy even more diverse, and Supreme Cuts' approach proves to be successful.
Every track on this album has a different vibe, but they all mesh well together. (So well that some of the transitional bits completely blend in with their predecessors instead of standing out as a separate scratch of noise.) However, it should be noted that a few of the 30-50 second sound clips like 'Bacchus' would have turned out to be standout tracks had they been completed. Instead they serve as teasers of something that could have and should have been.
With 14 tracks to shuffle around, Divine Ecstasy offers a handful of sweet beats that deserve to be savoured all night long. This is an album that is adaptable for any mood or setting, so long as the listeners go with the flow and let the music take control. Although the story of Divine Ecstasy remains unknown for the time permitting, it seems as though that's up for the listener to decide for themselves. If products of the past were considered a disappointment, this record makes up for it and gives Supreme Cuts a clean slate to start over with.