DJ Seinfeld – Mirrors

An absorbing return that illustrates his depth...

It’s unfortunate that DJ Seinfeld can’t make a tune without the L-word being mentioned. Yes, it was very much the stepping stone for the artist's career, on the excellent 'Time Spent Away From U', but those that have been keeping a close eye on the artist since the release of his debut album in 2017 will have noticed the unbalanced nature of this. Seinfeld hasn’t necessarily refined a sound as much as the sound itself has evolved. Under his newly formed Young Ethics label, Seinfeld has been treating us to the Burial-esque, post-dubstep sounds of the mid 00’s ('Please Slow Down'), eski-influenced breaks ('Galazy') and neon-coloured synthwave ('Miami Sunrise'), so it’s not like he hasn’t been switching it up for a while now. Aphex Twin was placing Sakura in his sets, need we say more?

Recorded between Berlin and Malmo, Mirrors marks Seinfeld’s Ninja Tune debut and the official follow up to his first full-length on Meda Fury. It lends its title from a quote by the producers' favourite writer – Argentinian novelist Julio Cortázar – and has been crafted within a period of local settlement, with Seinfeld’s father having a stroke a few years ago. Flashes of heartbreak, family trauma, despair and optimism are all evident in what is, without a doubt, his most complete work to date.

‘She Loves Me’ is the first track and is an instant mood-capturer – a cut of trademark Seinfeld; heart-string tugging vocal melodies wrapped up in a vortex of moody wubs and 2-step. It’s the type of track that could feel like a real ‘moment’ in the club – the beautifully human complexity of anger, euphoria and sadness in full view as we dance between light and dark. The artist’s admiration for the M1 is manifested once more on ‘Walking With Your Smile’ – the 2-step remaining put as pop sensibility introduces itself.

This sensibility is realised in its fullest on ‘U Already Know’; a swirling, punchy cut of funk-laced house that is a Radio 1 playlisters dream. The targeting for mass appeal may put off those more inclined to stroke their chin, but there are also plenty of good times to be had amongst the commerciality.

As expected, the highlight reel of the record shows Seinfeld at his most vulnerable. ‘The Right Place’, featuring Tiera, is wonderfully nuanced – a late-night score for rainy, isolated walks – while ‘Tell Me One More Time’ maintains that same tears-in-your-eyes energy, but this time the clouds disperse as you feel the warm glow of the sun heating up your face.

‘Someday’ provides the ultimate culmination of new and old sonic territory; synth-heavy electro-breaks with just the right amount of pop-R&B input. Think if Seinfeld and Kelela linked up. It’s this tight-rope walking of pop-maturity, moment-capturing awareness and beauty-in-simplicity attitude that has aided in Seinfeld’s rise to the top of the dance music ladder, and has helped him shape a record that showcases exactly where he is sitting in terms of sonic aesthetic right now. 

7/10

Words: Andrew Moore

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