Given his deep love of bleep techno, it's perhaps unsurprising that JD Twitch is keen on the post-bleep house wonkiness of former Sweet Exorcist man DJ Parrot's Crooked Man project. Here he gives him a fully justified release on Optimo Trax with which to do his thing. Those familiar with Crooked Man's previous output will feel right at home. "Undigitize Me" is a little rougher around the edges than their previous work, but retains the usual sleaziness (thanks to some odd vocals, warped bass and hypnotic rhythms). "Skink" is, if anything, even wilder and wonkier, with a real intense late night swing. Best of all, though, is the heads-down, stripped-back pulse of "Try Me", a 12-minute exercise in druggy dancefloor dynamics with superb vocals from Pete Simpson.
While frustratingly overlooked by critics, Sheffield veteran Richard Barratt's debut album under the Crooked Man alias was one of the finest house albums of 2016. Here, DFA has asked a bunch of suitably well-respected producers to give their own spin on tracks from the hot-to-trot set. Ostgut Ton types Barker & Baumecker steal the show with vocal and instrumental remixes of "Fools & Fanatics" that gleefully join the dots between Brown Album-era Orbital, vintage electro, early breakbeat, Chicago acid and piano house. Both sound like anthems in waiting. Elsewhere, DFA stalwart Juan MacLean provides a driving, surprisingly murky rework of nostalgia-driven sing-along "Happiness", while fellow NYC veterans WhateverWhatever give unlikely Northern Soul cover "I'll Be Loving You" a dark, machine-driven, acid-flecked makeover.