Switched On – Steffi x Virginia: Work A Change (Ostgut Ton)

reviewed by Ben Hogwood

What’s the story?

Steffi & Virginia have been regular collaborators ever since 2011, when their vocal track Yours surfaced on the Ostgut Ton label. I use the term ‘Vocal track’ rather than ‘song’ advisedly, because the two DJs and vocalists find that their vocal work complements the instrumental craft, the two elements becoming inseparable.

Eight years on and their musical chemistry remains, sparking eight track EP Work A Change.

What’s the music like?

Every bit as vital as the pair’s first work. Steffi x Virginia, as the name implies, are an incredibly cohesive unit, finishing each other’s musical sentences on tracks that exist somewhere between techno, electro and pop. They manage to satisfy the elements of each style while being difficult to pin down to a single genre.

Beats bubble below the surface while cool keyboards float above on Be True To Me, which kicks in with a catchy chorus, while the two standouts Help Me Understand and Work The Change have a great sense of urgency. Both exist in instrumental form to show just how good they are.

Sight From Above, meanwhile, has a closer harmony which leads to a warmer sound, while Until You’re Begging has a conversational style over a busy beat. Only Internal Bleeding doesn’t quite hit the spot, though the harmonies are as effective as ever.

Does it all work?

Yes, because the blend of processed electronica with a freedom of spirit is irresistible. Work A Change, Help Me Understand and Be True To Me are big hitters that repay many repetitions (from experience!)

Is it recommended?

Without hesitation. These two spark off each other to brilliant effect, and the natural creation of this album has led to some brilliant vocal and instrumental sparring. It brings forward high quality music with energy and positivity.

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