BRIAN SUAREZ. PHOTO COURTESY OF SHERVIN LAINEZ
Brian Suarez has been on the electro-house scene for almost 10 years, first as a scrappy upstart who released fairly straight-faced tracks under the name Gater. More recently Suarez has been going by Allies, and the music has changed too—the music is fuller, the beats more perplexingly intricate, and the tone more unequivocally playful. Allies has rapidly established himself in New York, dabbling in touring here, soundtrack composing there, and garnering appreciation from other DJs everywhere.
Allies' new mixtape, which Interview has the pleasure of premiering [above], possesses all these features in spades. The original eleven songs are a mix of '80s synth-pop, '90s cult club songs, and a few of this year's most beloved fringe acts, plus "Psychic Phenomenon," an Allies composition. That track, built around a demented excerpt from a Peter Barnes monologue, turns extraterrestrial paranoia into the most blissful cool-down song the dance floor has ever seen. The remix of "Triangle Walks" by Fever Ray (aka Karin Dreijer Andersson from The Knife) preserves her wonderfully eerie voice while switching its accompaniment from forlornly unsettling to simply otherworldly. Allies also manages to give the energy-sapping "Sing It Back," from Anglo-Irish dance duo Moloko, a beat worth dancing to. Then he layers a few other beats worth dancing to on top of it, just for good measure. Other highlights are Allies' airy version of Seelenluft's "Manila," and the masterful way his additional melodies make Charlie's declaration of "I come from space," in her 1984 song "Space Woman," sound almost sane.
The mixtape ends with a remix of Florence and the Machine's "Brd Sng" that translates the cabaret-like intensity of the original into a gentler energy that focuses on Florence Welch's wordless vocalizing. A peaceful sentiment drifting on top of an insistent pulse: that's the Allies guarantee.
TO HEAR MORE FROM ALLIES, VISIT HIS SOUNDCLOUD.