Fresh off their April 2022-released debut single on Unreel, German duo Konrad Ritter & NEPH are back at it with "High Hopes", a three-track hike across solar house territories beautifully complemented by a choice remix from Kompakt stalwart Robag Wruhme. True to the pair's ever vivid and colourful approach, a lush palette of summery flavours and organic suavity exudes from this fresher-than-fresh second effort.
The blissed-out, disco-hued opener "Trip City" treats us to a smorgasbord of layered pad swashes, framing our minds in a warm cocoon of sound that spins in and out of focus to the jacking rhythm of early Chicago house drums. Folding out sequences of melodic sublimation and honey-like textural unctuosity thru and thru, a different shade of feelgood-ism innervates "You Are Doing Well", where Ritter and NEPH blend in elements of polyrhythmic Caribbean music with heavily processed vocals and a left-of-centre sense of deep-house escapology.
Rounding off the package on a luminous, typically empowering note, German maestro Robag Wruhme repurposes "You Are Doing Well" into a proper clear-watered slice of shoegaze-y, dreamy elation - perfect for transitional states both on and off the dance-floor, then slowly but surely (and elegantly) cranking up the tempo up a notch until its bass-powered engines take us off up the highest layers of the dance-o-sphere.