Review LA Vampires + Maria Minerva


LA Vampires with Maria Minerva

The Integration LP

Not not fun Records


The opening and title track from the latest collaboration between 100% Silk label head Amanda Brown and Estonian DIY-disco producer Maria Minerva says it all; faded, detached, lo-fi and deep in pursuit of super classic-sounding house music. They’re seeking the type of frivolity you can witness on the Youtube clip ( of Guy Called Gerald,  between potted ferns and the tiled walls of Victoria Baths playing his classic “Voodoo Ray”, just stoked-as-shit.


That opulent, 90s kind of jive emerges from a scruffy groove on “I Fear Thy Kisses” before a steady hi-hat falls in and shit gets really mesmeric; Brown’s repeated and heavily reverberant vocal loop spirals on and on, sultry and fun-loving. It’s this kind of gnarled Theo Parrish sensibility that is most notable in their pursuit for making things their own.  “End of the World” takes a couple of dance music signifiers such as the descending keyboard line and the reverberant beat for a slightly more unsettled sounding pop jam.


There’s a consistent, blurry sensuality coming off this record’s general ether; it’s cluttered and built on a dishevelled kind of ecstasy. In a recent video interview on Fader, Minerva brazenly addressed criticisms of her ideas being “half-baked” by saying “of course they are, I’m only just starting out” in this kind of jubilant way. The rougher edges are endearing, and also give a lot of room for another central aesthetic concern – that of the detached – to take effect.


Tracks like “Supercool” have that aloof Cherelle type of romance, and “Desire Desire” expresses a similar type of moonlit-silk-curtain luxury. “Trying 2 Be Honest With Myself” has this terrific deadpan melody running alongside a mechanical, lowlit bassline and again, the vocals just float there atop it.


Integration is a more delirious sounding combination than Brown’s previous release with the clearer dance producer Octo Octa, recalling instead the hypnogogic heights of Brown’s previous hook up with Matrix Metals, to much success.  There’s nothing half-formed about these hybridized house/techno/pop movements, and best of all, the fun they’re having comes through most.