Archive for December, 2012

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In recent weeks Soitiz has been relaunched with a fresh website design and even a new sister label. A press release about it is here, but in a nutshell what’s happened is that Swifty has teamed up with an established artist/producer, a ‘sleeping partner’ if you like, who’ll be helping out with mastering and A&R, while from now on the label will also have a sister label, Soitiz Silver, offering free downloads in order to help promote and establish new talent. Meanwhile, the long-awaited Soitiz 002, the Droppin’ The Acid EP, has appeared, so let’s take a look at that…

First up, Swifty and MK303’s brilliantly titled I Keep Saying No To Drugs But They Never Listen has a super-bouncy, rolling kick, that takes us up to a mini-break and drum roll at 1.39 when the main melody kicks in. And, hello, it’s the riff from Q Project’s Champion Sound given an Acid Techno makeover, underpinning some seriously unhygenic 303 action. Fantastic.

What’s Goin On is vintage A.P. He’s at his best when he’s slowly ratcheting up the tension and here he does exactly that. Opening with a low, growly, grid-friendly riff, like ominous noise on an empty rain-swept street, a growly 303 steps out of shadows, before around the halfway mark the whole caboodle pings off into some seriously squally, full-on footchase action.

Meanwhile, on Activate MK303 continues to tweak convention, dropping us straight into a tune that already feels fully formed. It’s anchored by a superb, signal-pulse, a siren call that gives the track its heart and gives MK303 the freedom to let the main acid line get loose, flitting in and out of the beats, rising and falling.

Lastly Serious Shit finds Starsky & Hutch raiding a vintage sounds for the build and when the acid arrives at at about 3.40 it’s gratifyingly fat. What’s more the track uses this sample from Back to the Future, which automatically distinguishes it in my eyes.

So there it is – yet another essential release from Soitiz. A rejuvenated Soitiz, no less, who are bringing more than just their share of enthusiasm and excitement to the scene, they’re brining raw talent and monster tunes too.

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Scraps is a bracingly nasty slice of underground horror film scuzziness, with the vocal sample – something about blood – providing an eerie counterpoint to stark drums and a nagging, torture-chamber riff. The D’FunK Darktek Remix, is a skittering fractured take, as though the tune has been taken apart then reassembled by a horrible kid in a Punisher t-shirt, while Hypnohouse mainman John Rowe steers things in an altogether more rolling, almost Millsian direction with his Threshold remix, cleaning up the central riff and adding funky stabs. But for this gorehound, the final track on the EP, the Zombie in Progress Mix, in which the darkness of the original is filtered into a propulsive, filthily funky beast, is where it’s at. Wonderful stuff.

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Even if Slime Recording’s 50th release wasn’t billed as like ‘Blade Runner on Acid’, and even if there wasn’t a track on it called Deckard, you’d still think of Blade Runner. The transition from the warm, neon-drenched pulses of Gort’s Dream  to crashing waves and the murmur of wind gives rise to sense of synthesised reality, the organic electronics of Oxygene or FSOL’s Lifeforms, replicated and pixelated. Indeed, Future Sound of London are another key reference point, especially their ISDN/Lifeforms era when, like The Orb or Steve Hillage, they were interpreting rave through a wider prism than many of their contemporaries, a vision of dance music that was as likely to include John Carpenter as Underground Resistance.

So, Vausz takes the same approach, only has a broader playing field, encompassing the early prog house of a Sasha and Digweed set, the narrative-driven proto big beat of Sabres of Paradise, the dry clicks of Autechre’s Amber. Neither does he squander what is an exquisite set of references. Taking its name from the Japanese term for biker gangs, Bosozoku is comedown slow, the synths analogue, the melodies used tantalisingly but never to drive the tunes, rather as a counterpoint to immersive washes of sound that link the tracks, making the album into a cohesive whole.

By Reflux, a 10-minute – and still not long enough – slow-burning epic of bubbling 303 and heartbroken synth, the album is in its stride, the hypnosis broken only by Nomurai, where the FSOL reference is a little too marked, an ‘homage’ to Smokin’ Japanese Babe that lifts you out of the album; meanwhile, Farewell to the Master is pure Whirl-Y-Gig, Walk With Me reintroduces 303 wielded with an even more graceful hand than on Reflux, and What Were You Thinking? riffs on breakbeats, introducing a more uptempo end that culminates in the utterly swoonsome 303 epic Return to the Pod Room.

It’s the kind of album they don’t make any more, the kind that got swept aside by the era of the superstar DJ and the club compilation, and then, somehow, sadly forgotten about. But if you yearn for another Northern Exposure, a new Leftism, another Haunted Dancehall, look no further.

Get it from: Juno Download

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The Brain: a beautifully languorous opening introduces a solid kick, a double dose of itchy and scratchy acid and a tremendous vocal sample. After about four minutes comes the break and the track really lifts off, the 303s blasting away in a squealy nineties style. It’s good, solid acid, exactly what you’d expect of the man like Matt Knight. Tribal drums are the standout feature of the flip, L.M.A.O.O.M.G before at 3.32 you’re treated to a breakdown with all the trimmings: an acid line that snarls and tugs at the leash, declamatory vocals, a smart ratcheting drum sound and then BOOM. Meanwhile, if you’re jonesing for these – and to be honest, if you’re here, you will be – then, firstly, head over to the new and improved Soitiz site, where you’ll find plentiful MK303 goodness, including a brand new free track, and secondly navigate to his Soundcloud page, for yet more bruising acidity, just the way we like it.

Get it from: 303 Acid Techno