It can be hard to pick out tracks from the growing sea of club-friendly progressive trance these days, but you don’t have to look very far to find Johan Malmgren—the quality of his productions easily stands out. After three solid releases on Marcus Schossow-headed label Tone Diary, this Swedish artist makes a statement with Come Back / Find You, his Armada debut on Max Graham’s sublabel Re*Brand.
There are brilliant touches scattered throughout Come Back—the slowdown in tempo approaching the break, subtle triplets and other syncopated rhythms hidden in the background of the instrumental layers—and instead of seeming like they were simply inserted because they sounded interesting, as happens fairly often in EDM, they all add together to form a seamless whole. The melody is simple but elegant; it doesn’t need to be overly flowery to work, and it works well. Find You is just a morsel of a track, clocking in at well under six minutes even including intro and outro, but it’s also solid. The main melody comes into the track fairly early, and while it’s easy to become tired of a lead when you hear it from start to finish, the track wraps up before the thought can even cross your mind. Come Back is the stronger track of the two, but either way, Johan Malmgren is definitely someone to keep an eye—and ear—on in the coming months.