Cauê – “Umbral” (Affin) [January 13, 2023]

Stuttgart-based label Affin backs the formerly Brazilian, now London-based artist Cauê, aka Cauê Borba, for a set of deeply atmospheric and groovy cuts that really hit the mark on his “Umbral” EP.

Cauê has been previously featured on Affin for his watery and buoyant release “Spellbooks” in March of last year as well as 2021 with his “Anissimo Natural.” His catalog of self-releasing and similarly deep, floating, Ambient Dub and Techno-fused tracks has been cut on his own label Cauêrecords and Kvulto since 2020. The pairing of Cauê and Affin has since provided a very successful fruition, since Affin has long been a supporter of the deep, ambient cuts in the Techno scene that often are regularly passed over. 

If you’re like most people who have been digging in the virtual bins this week, you’ve likely been diving through a blistering set of London Acid Techno tracks, and you kind of want to just sit there and listen to something with a little bit of heart, a bit of peace, and warm feelings. As much as we love the rave, having something like this “Umbral” EP from Cauê to put on after the rave is very much needed. As Affin has disclosed, this EP very much hits the mark.

Even if one were to strictly keep this release for the cracked-out afters with the sunglasses on while bracing for the brightness of ‘God’s flashlight’ on a Monday morning, it also functions as the glue to the side room in peak-hour fashion. A strong antithesis to body-punishing anthems, tracks like “Evora” and “Bethania” are unassuming, strong, grooving, hypnotic, and very captivating. They have a gravitational pull like a warm supportive hand grabbing ahold of you in a very firm way, saying, “don’t worry, I got you.” That sort of support in a track is deeply emotional and powerful, yet the tracks convey this in such a subtle sort of way for those who want to listen. “Bezaleu” takes a little different path and turns you around to send you to a place within yourself—soul searching and finding peace within. 

There are lots of cuts this week coming out from well-known producers trying to one-up each other on how well they can rock the top slot and melt faces in the most lethal way possible, but it takes courage to know yourself well enough to say “This is who I am and this is what I want to say.”

Cauê knows what that is, and even though he’s only been releasing for 2-3 years, he’s got a very strong idea of what his music sounds like and how to say it effectively. That speaks huge volumes against any generic Acid Techno track and music like this deserves equal recognition. 

Take a dive through his other releases on Bandcamp as well as the previous release “Spellbooks,” which is an ideal mix for your rainy day. You’ll be well rewarded.

-Sean Ocean

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