Cabal is a duo comprised of Calgary artists Sonny Chiba and DJ Lenza, and the two of them each bring incredibly diverse influences to the table. While Sonny Chiba is known as a purveyor of disco, funk and soul, Lenza comes from the world of U.K. influenced bass music.
The pairing of the two has created a debut EP that they describe with terms like cinematic, stripped back, 808, 303, disco, and tribal inspired.
The vision behind the EP was to craft something that had a storytelling element, with a discernible beginning, middle, and end. This translates into each track being a journey through a series of moods and actions, with captivating build-ups and climactic passages.
If this EP were a movie, “The Bellview” would be the chase sequence. It’s peak-time, bass intensive four to the floor with synthwave flair. While the kick drum reverberates, the subtle instrumentation creates a sense of tension that gives this track an action-packed atmosphere.
“Freeway” demonstrates Cabal’s ability to create unique moods within a track, this time creating a sense of cosmic free-floating with their airy synths. Meanwhile, a steady bassline that’s reminiscent of Italo disco’s bass stabs keep the energy high from beginning to end.
“Outskirts” feels like a spiritual continuation of “The Bellview.” Cabal once again takes synthwave inspired instrumentation and fuses it with their own unique style of house, adding tribal percussion and vocal chants. It’s another offering that creates peak-time energy in a house selection with a blend of completely unexpected elements, Cabal’s modus operandi.
The debut EP from Cabal sets the tone for future releases, showing what can happen when two divergent artists take their unique influences and form a mosaic of sound.