Michael Calfan seems determined to demonstrate that what I’ve termed “department store house” is more than a one-dimensional iteration of the four-four formula. The French DJ/producer has departed slightly from his radio-friendly brand of melodic deep house to lead the listener on a more introspective aural journey in his latest track, “Brothers.”
A suspenseful smattering of piano chords underscores the melancholy arrangement, and a strings section trades off with ominous vocal samples. Considering how “Brothers” differs from Calfan’s more upbeat tracks like last year’s “Nobody Does It Better,” you have to wonder if he’s attempting to pursue a more subversive creative direction.
Even if he was, though, he doesn’t quite execute “Brothers” with the same finesse as the deep/tech house cuts that it seemingly aims to emulate. As layered as the production is, it simply doesn’t exhibit the sound design subtleties that make releases from labels like All Day I Dream such sought-after commodities.
Be that as it may, “Brothers” may only mark the beginning of a longer and more sincere musical journey for Michael Calfan, and it will be interesting to see what he’s got in store for the rest of the 2016 festival season as it unfolds.