London’s premier celebration of all things house, Tief, are hosting a Voyage Direct party at Corsica Studios on Sunday August 26, and we have a pair of tickets to give away.
Over the years, Holland’s Dexter aka Remy Verheijen has done much to dispel the common if often inaccurate perception that electro producers are a miserable bunch. With tongue in cheek classics like “I Don’t Care” and the good time interpretations of Chicago on the “Boogie Chasers” collaboration with Marco Passarani, his music is often at odds with the stern and angular precision of many of his fellow 808-obsessed peers.
Given his background, it is no surprise that Space Booty remains true to form. On the title track, Verheijen’s love of Chicago house and ghetto electro is to the fore. The result is a groove powered by tingling, insistent 808 drums and underscored by a lunging bass that sounds like it was borrowed from DJ Godfather and then had its tempo halved. That said, “Booty” acts as only a prelude to the real fun.
“Fat Skinny People”, like “I Don’t Care”, is delivered with tongue firmly in cheek. The bassline is rougher and more distorted, and the use of driving percussion in the break will ensure it gets DJ rotation, but at the heart of the arrangement is that vocal. Sounding like a robot force fed helium and Quaaludes, its daft-sounding tones intoning the track’s title are then cut up and placed strategically for maximum giggle effect.
Jacob Korn again brings the fruits of his audio-visual experiments to bear on Panorama Bar Steffi’s label. Korn, who is an artist in residence at Dresden’s Tranmsedia Lab, focuses his work there on the interaction between the audience and the performer, and as “Sundaysun” shows, the results are characterised by contrasts. This is especially audible on the title track, where heavy, raw beats provide the backing for airy, floaty melodies and epic string sequences. The unpredictable nature of the interaction means that midway through, “Sundaysun” morphs into an acid-heavy workout, before the symphonic strings kick back in.
“Sand” follows a similarly contrasting approach: heavy drums are joined by thundering claps, yet the overall feeling is mellow and laid back, thanks to a trippy, filtered melody. The remixes are also based on diversity: Klakson’s Dexter’s version of “Sundaysun” is more uptempo and rolling than the original, but the atmospheric chords and synth stabs mean melodies remain a priority. That he manages to balance these elements with grinding bass licks says a lot about the Dutch producer’s talents. Irish producer John Daly – he of the Big Piano and Big Organ – also delivers on the challenge of uniting diverse elements and his take on “Sundaysun”, although lighter than Dexter’s, features warbling acid lines underpinning spacey, dreamy chords.
Review by Richard Brophy