Hirsute producer Matthew Styles has been around for longer than anyone can remember, and always seems to pop up in all the right places. Having previously been cosy with Music For Freaks and Crosstown Rebels, he's now part of the extended Running Back family. Aji No Moto, his second release for the label, is chock full of impressive fusions. There's the E'd-up Balearic synths and classic hip-house drums of "Montana" (featuring what sound like the beats from "Dirty Cash"), the dirty analogue acid of "Hot!", and the ragged, vaguely cosmic "Sixty Ways". All are tailor made for sweaty, pitch-black basements.
Amazingly, it's been some three years since the last single from former Crosstown Rebels and Music For Freaks mainstay Matthew Styles. As you'd perhaps expect given its release by Running Back, this comeback EP is pretty good, with the hirsute producer offering up a variety of flavours across the five tracks. The title track, for example, is little more than a freaky, beatless DJ tool, while "Polee" channels the spirit of space disco and Chicago jack. "Scale" is unfashionably deep and careful, whilst "Galaxy 21" is a heavy percussion work-out with a twist. All are overshadowed by impressive lead cut "Don't Call Me Again", which sounds like a swinging house take on the classic Carl Craig sound.
Pulling together the unreleased gems from Nick Hoppner's entry into the burgeoning Panorama Bar CD series, this digital accoutrement comes brimming with quality that matches functionality with imagination. Things start off decidedly funky with The Mole laying down a discoid bassline and maintaining his groove longer than he might normally do. Dexter comes correct with a brooding slice of tech-house that plays off a growling bassline and quirky dabs of synth, while Matthew Styles lets dubby feedback reign supreme on the melodic part of "Liquid Sky". Jon McMillon rounds proceedings off in fine style with the subdued slow-mo of "T-Station".
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