A product of Berlin, DINA SUMMER is the collaborative project comprising of Greco-German technodisco couple Dina Pascal and Max Brudi aka LOCAL SUICIDE and Nu-disco exponent Jakob Häglsperger, better known by his frozen dessert flavoured alias of KALIPO.

Blending new wave, synthpop, dark disco and techno, DINA SUMMER opened their account with the excellent single pairing of ‘Who Am I’ and ‘Fortune Teller’. Their new EP ‘Hide & Seek’ embraces synth with a cutting Mittel Europa edge following their more Italo flavoured 2022 long player ‘Rimini’. But around this time, although not featuring on the album, they covered THE FLIRTS’ Booby O produced disco classic ‘Passion’ and FRONT 242’s EBM favourite ‘Headhunter’ as free downloads to show how across the spectrum their musical tastes lay.

With an epic gothic intro, “the clock is ticking” with live sounding drum fills and frenetic blips as ‘Unter Strom’ comes shaped with stabbing synth interventions and a feminine Anglo-Germanic vocal presence for an ecstatic opening. The uptempo rhythmic thrust of ‘Hide & Seek’ offers tension and excitement using real bass guitar and a much more snarly vocal delivery in amongst all the throbbing electronics although its sparkles in a manner that puts all the synthwavers to shame with its elicit spirit. Meanwhile its ‘Club Edit’ matts the shine and takes things deeper and darker at a more steadfast past, drawing sonic parallels to another Berlin-based act NNHMN.

Photo by Petra Ruehle

Even faster but interestingly sans hi-hats is ‘All Or Nothing’; using a high energy formula with deep synthetic choirs and pitch swoops for the required burst of gloom, it is punctuated by feisty and assertive spoken words declaring “I won’t be caged”. Then with the minimal structure of a solid propulsive beat and spacious layers of electronics before a big bang of hypnotically repeating basslines, ‘Excess’ is sexy and sweaty with talk of “high leather boots”, its nonchalant narration providing an alluring incentive to dance and be corrupted.

This is an excellent EP that combines light and shade in a manner that is perfect for the dancefloor or a home soundbar. If you’ve ever wondered what happened to good electronic dance music with a grittier impassioned outlook, well it’s alive and well, and it’s right here…

‘Hide & Seek’ is released by Iptamenos Discos on 23 February 2024, available as a 12” vinyl EP or download via https://iptamenosdiscos.com/dina-summer-hide-seek-idi018/






Text by Chi Ming Lai
21 February 2024