Always Never label head Le Castle Vania is firing up the label (cheesy pun well intended) with his latest EP, Feels Like Fire. In it, Le Castle Vania continues to explore re-evaluations of his old records, as well as showing off more collaborations and vocalists from artists we’ve seen him work with in the past. It’s clear Le Castle Vania puts a lot of time into his tracks… the finesse in his technique is noticeable with the structure and engineering of every track on the release. The EP is noticeably less dark and aggressive than his previous work on mau5trap, the signature is all still there but Feels Like Fire makes more of an adult, emotional statement.
The EP begins with “Nobody Gets Out Alive Part II” – where Le Castle Vania revisits one of his older hits (previously with “Through A Keyhold Part II”). New synths, melodies and breakdowns on the track see Part II with an even clearer focus and an amplification of energy and aesthetic. “Come Together” is the second track and lead single for the EP, instantly enticing you with a haunting yet simple synth line. The track then tunnels into a high-speed adventure with a jumpy and pitched drop. At this point in the EP (and in general) it’s quite clear that Le Castle Vania sonically lives in a super-future universe, it’s TRON with all of the bad-assery and none of the cheese. The third track, “Moving In Time” sees Le Castle Vania collaborating with longtime friend and fellow producer MUST DIE – it’s a thrill ride of saw synths and gut punches colorfully strung along by hollowed piano melodies. Then we see another friend and fellow Always Never associate Crywolf on “Part Of Me” – Crywolf making a prominent appearance here with his signature and poignant piano work. The closer track, “Driving Away” is very appropriately titled, as the mood of the track fits perfectly with the movie Drive‘s theme.
All in all, Le Castle Vania continues to show he has not strayed far from his original sound, but instead progressed to his best form yet within it. These are pieces of work that are intricately and carefully made – every sound and layer tweaked and adjusted to peak form. He’s a master of his craft – and it’s nice to see an artist dust off a major track from their catalog and shed the dead weight off it and polish it to a nice sheen.