After the shimmering pop tendencies of his recent album and accompanying single, L-Vis 1990 hits up Night Slugs with five downright nasty slices of stern-faced jackhammer material. Whether it's the whumping bass of "Workout", the grinding hats of "Video Drone" or the more restrained techno of "Hard Drive", this is clearly a statement on how to make cruelly effective floor tracks with the DJ in mind. For a no-frills approach to tools, you'd be hard pressed to find a selection that slots in between the current mess of genres in clubs as easily as these grim rippers.
Almost twelve months after he first debuted on Clone Jack For Daze, L-Vis 1990 returns to the Rotterdam label with an EP that features the first new material under his Dance System alias. First introduced on a mix for DIS magazine that featured a glut of the producer's Chicago influences like Paul Johnson and DJ Deeon, original material under the Dance System name takes a similarly Dance Mania influenced approach. Four tracks deep, this EP demonstrates the New York-based Night Slugs CEO has the energising functionality of Ghetto House down to a tee and look out for "Move It" which sees Connolly draw a direct line to Dance Mania's lineage. Here the producer teams up with Jammin Gerald whose titular vocal hook is thrown about with the same gleeful abandon as the rusted key line.
Always a tricky customer to get a handle on, just when you think you know where James Connolly is headed with his release arc he swerves back the other way, from chart-testing pop-inflected jams to raw club destroyers. On this latest march on his Night Slugs stomping ground, Connolly is definitely looking to rock the dance but he's not holding back on the musical elements either. On "Not Mad" there's plenty of boogie flavoured synth flares to inject some colour into proceedings, while the title track gets into an almost Autechre-styled disposition with it's mechanical warmth conundrum. "Signal" manages to conjure a powerful blend of electro funk dynamics and sci-fi moods that it's very hard to argue with.
With previous releases on the Clone Jack For Daze imprint coming from Dance Mania-inspired Gerd alias Geeeman, Hague-based synth voyager Legowelt and Berlin-based Chi-house acolyte Murphy Jax, Night Slugs co-founder L-Vis 1990 makes for a logical addition. The Circuits EP follows a wave of club focused tracky material from the producer most notably the debut Night Slugs Club Constructions release and bangs hard across four productions. If anything this release demonstrates a more fully developed take on the raw house tracks of Club Constructions, combining the brighter palette of his earlier material with the jacking styles of the new. The title track especially is a raucous combination of bumping 909 rhythms and lysergic strings, while "That Thunder Track" throws a malfunctioning, phased lead with the hollow abrasion of classic grime into the mix.
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