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Ramon Tapia is one of Europe’s hottest talents and will release his debut album “Sunka Sanka” on Great Stuff Records on April 19th. From Antwerp, Belgium, Ramon Tapia has produced one the best debut albums of 2010 so far.

His father who was a political refugee from Chile, and who’s music was provocative enough to enrage the repressive military regime has had a massive impact on Ramon Tapia’s style and production. Retracing his fathers’ footsteps he says “I just want to do my own thing and play.” And his debut certainly does. With lashings of South American flavour throughout, he has produced tech-house album, which leans more towards house than techno, with no weak tracks, it’s certainly a worthy addition to anyone’s collection.

He has decided to ditch the usual format for a LP; which usually consists of a artists creating 4-5 releasable tracks and then padding the rest of the album out with short reprises’ and atmospheric bobbins. Ramon is too clever for this, instead of a handful releasable tracks, he has decided to craft 12 stand alone tracks, that all deserve the limelight; it would be no exaggeration to say he could release every track individually if he wanted – it really is that good.

He has done away with the irritatingly short radio-fliendly edits and has produced 12 individual full-tracks for the dance-floor. It ends up sounding like a perfectly crafted mix CD – getting better and better right to the end. The whole album was produced by him, alone in Antwerp, in his tiny bedroom, which is amazing considering the proliferation of expensive technology and studios.

The opening salvos from ‘Colors’ & ‘You know’ start the LP on a bouncy, house-groove, which draws you in gradually, but never gives you too much too early. The tracks are also ready to be mixed at your pleasure, clocking in around 7 minutes a pop. So, no 2-minute wonders here the. Which we think is a great.

It’s not overbearing or too hard, it’s bouncy and playful, with catchy latin melodies infecting your ears, it is nice to see an artist album trying something new and exciting – 12 perfectly executed tracks, each one gradually getting better than the last – what more could you want.

We particularly love the upbeat shuffling house beats of ‘Carousel’ which just goes round and round getting better and better. Ramon begins to draw on more South American tribal tech-house elements by track 5 with a throbbing bass-line straight out of Berlin via Chile. But most importantly, he balances it all with some clever tribal percussion and subtle latin house-vocals.

“Nature Calls” brings you down a notch with a fantastic melodic tribal-house track, which again is expertly brought together with another peach of a vocal-sample and gives a nod to fellow Belgian Compuphonic with the phasing synths.

Ramon takes it up a notch with the quite franky immense “Eye” & “Wet Lips” which go down the proper tech-house route, short-sharp shuffling tech-beats combined with a filthy bass to make two dance-floor stompers.

The jewel in the crown is probably the epic 9-minute “Say What” a house track to be really proud of, the vocal and the beats all just sit together perfectly, at no point did I want to click through to the next track – pure genius.

We loved this album, and it seems to be getting better after each listen, which is always a great sign. I have no doubt we will be coming back to Sunka Sanka for months to come and we’re sure you will as well.

Ramon Tapia – Sunka Sanka Mix

[podcast]http://www.mediafire.com/file/h2ygytyzlgm/Ramon Tapia – Sunka Sanka mix.mp3[/podcast]

Ramon Tapia – “Sunka Sanka” (GSRCD011)
Release: 19.04.2010
Distribution: Groove Attack (CD), KNM (digital), Intergroove (vinyl EPs)

Andrew Rafter

Andrew Rafter is the editor and founder of Harder Blogger Faster.