Cale Parks is a percussionist and producer based out of Brooklyn, NYC whose thoughtful floor-fillers have helped him to carve out an established fanbase and unique position within electronic music, external to his day-job playing drums for Yeasayer. Released on cult record label Rothmans, who name their releases after legendary footballers, this EP sees the fiery Argentinian dynamo, Diego Maradona, taking his turn to grace a title.

Diego Maradona is an EP as progressive as it is dynamic, both in terms of its exploration of new sonic territory and its ascent from the serene to the hectic. The first track, “The Big Dust”, effortlessly blends tranquil synth sounds with thoughtful staccato piano to blur the lines between the artificial and the organic, creating soundscapes that settle and delight the listener in equal measure.  

Cale Parks’ flair for percussion comes to the fore in “9G” with the interplay between rising and falling arpeggiated synths, house-inspired four-to-floor drums with shuffling hi-hats and syncopated, melancholic piano melodies developing to create textures, tones and rhythms that push the boundaries of emotional expression in his genre.

The final track “9G (Eddie C Remix)” kicks this rhythmic experimentation into overdrive, breathing new life into the original through cacophonies of shimmering cymbals and pulsing breakbeats that give way to blissful moments of calm. The highs and lows are felt much more extremely in this track, with all the features of Cale Parks’ established sound… cranked to eleven with Eddie’s fine remix work.

This is an EP that flourishes in the hard-to-define spaces in-between the lines we use to draw up boundaries in music: between artificial and organic, loud and quiet, euphoria and melancholy. Diego Maradona occupies a unique space that reminds us of the value of finding balance in life, never investing too whole-heartedly in established conventions that can be so stifling to creativity.

Check out the rest of Rothman's super squad right here.