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21 Nov 12
Review: Major props to Mark E's MERC label who not only coax the reclusive producer Ed out of whatever figurative rock he's been hiding under, but also drop a sly little Pulp Fiction pun in the process! Under his former name Edward, the producer delivered an early highlight of the MERC catalogue in the shape of Hold On, and some two years later we are graced with some new material which is just as good. Clearly schooled in the Mark E way of building a track, Ed crafts an incendiary production that sits between disco and house on "Burning" working with a singular string stab and managing to eek every last drop of creative energy out of it, stretching the sample over a cavalcade of loose, bongo assisted drum arrangements and dovetailing nicely into a tunnelled vocal hook that clearly influenced the title. Evidently there is more Ed goodness in the MERC vault as the virtual B Side holds a devilishly slow jacking Mark E Doomsday transition of "Counterfeit Paradise".
24 Aug 11
13 Oct 11
Played by: Redux Records, Diskjokke, Monkey Beats, Discomendments, Kid Who, The Warm Signal, Juno Recommends Deep House, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, The Tortoise, Al Macario, The Legendary 1979 Orchestra, Aliooft (Foto Rec.)
Review: What seems an age after it appeared as part of Mark E's last spot on Beats In Space, "Call Me" finally arrives for general consumption, yet it's in danger of getting overshadowed by the company it keeps, with both Dixon and Tensnake holding things down with an edit and a distinctive remix respectively. The original is classy enough though, very much in sync with the producer's recent album, formed of a typically pressurised house groove upon which gloopy key lines draw you in, and go on for seemingly ever. The onset of a massive chord wash and snaking organs is the prelude to a delightful spoken word turn from Miss Diana Ross. This touch adds that dash of class that separates Evetts from the dross. Up next, Tensnake indulges his inner penchant for mid 90s West London broken beat 2 step swingers which will no doubt confound latecomers to the Mirau bosses charms and is all the better for it. Dixon's edit adds a housier slant and sounds as good here as it does as part of the Innervisions boss's excellent Live At Robert Johnson mix.
01 Jul 10
Played by: Adam B (Homegrown Music/Palooza), Ulysses, The Revenge, Gareth Cheshire, Mock (Mock & Toof), Randy Brusseto, Alexander Robotnick, Daniel Lucas, Juno Recommends Disco, Juno Recommends Deep House, Frank Booker, Sleazy Beats Recordings, Enzo Canale, Agnes
Review: FINALLY! The inaugural release on Merc gets a digital release after limited vinyl runs last September - and a chance for those allergic to black plastic discs to own "Get Yourself Together". This track had Mark E obsessives frothing after he debuted it in his RA mix - ten minutes of slow burning acid tinged house that contains the typically hypnotic groove. Added bonus comes in the shape of "You", the Midlander's smart boogified reworking of Diana Ross' 1978 track "You Were The One" which places the emphasis on the soaring string arrangements and contains a real bumpy groove. Enough to keep you entertained until Mark E's forthcoming Works 2005-2009 Vol. 2 drops later this summer.
13 Jun 12
Review: Mark E has been in fine form of late, remixing everyone from Boys Noize to Mic Newman and returning to last year's excellent debut album Stone Breaker to rework one of its highlights. His Space Dub of "Oranges" works as a neat prelude to the sounds explored here on the ninth release on his own Merc imprint; the same sort of piston-heavy rhythms at play there are driving "Snow Walker" on this EP. Sounding as if Evetts has compressed a forgotten soul classic beneath the weight of the rhythmic textures that lay thick at the core, this is an excellent example of highly pressurised slow techno that still has soul. Up next, a computerised female vocal adds only a vague hint of humanity to "Environment", a lolloping hunk of industrial machine funk with rusted textures scraping away at a desolate soundscape with worrying rhythmic aplomb. Listening to this makes "RnB Junkie" seem like an all too distant memory.
23 Jun 11
08 Oct 12
19 Nov 12
Review: Mark E's Merc label resurfaces with a new name at the helm in the shape of Quaid, who may be based in an East London studio or indeed some fantasy fire laden digital realm known as Metropolis. What we have here are two prime slabs of neo futuristic machine funk - apparently influenced by years of treating ears to the sounds of Prince and The Egyptian Lover. Lead track "Watchbeat" chirps into action, the thick stumbling bass drum coaxing out the uneasy textural intricacies that drive the track ever forward in full flight. Throughout you get the sense the production is teetering on the brink due to the sheer weight of its various elements, but onwards it moves. "Dedication" streams forth brilliantly with recycled soul and could easily be mistaken for a Sound Signature release, the various vocal harmonics weaved deep into the rhythmic template and what's so impressive is how the track seems to constantly fizz in different directions, never attempting to settle into one groove. Excellent release!