Review: On his latest release, it sounds like Dan Curtin has gone back to his roots. "Flight Lush" is loose and jazzy, channeling the beatsy, cosmic feeling of his "Blue Apple Funk Drops" - one of the highlights of the 1994 Silicon Dawn long player. Meanwhile, on "It's What You Wanted", Curtin takes inspiration from the breezy but repetitive house of his Purveyors of Fine Funk project, while the more pacey "Perfume & Cigarettes", with its warbling acid bass and out there jazz undercurrents, could easily have come from his Art & Science album. Rounding off this fine EP of many hues and styles is the break beat-led "The Fundamental Mind".
Perpetual Line Stepper (original mix) - (6:46) 126 BPM
Exective Order 12333 - (6:29) 125 BPM
Perpetual Line Stepper (different mix) - (6:47) 126 BPM
Review: Originally released on Curtin's own Metamorphic label back in 2007, Stepper has retained its edge and relevance. The US producer put it out at the height of the minimal house boom, yet the title track sounds unlike anything from that time. If anything, the ragga call and response vocals are reminiscent of San Fran house of the late 90s, but with a twist. Instead of tribal drums, the listener is treated to metallic kicks and on the 'Different' remix, an abstract, stepping rhythm. Closing out the release is "Executive Order 12333"; with its subsonic bleeps and grinding rhythm, it, like "Stepper", remains fresh eight years after the original release.
Review: Label boss Melodymann is in good company on this latest release. While his own "May Deep" is an adept interpretation of 90s deep house thanks to its tight drums and breathless vocal samples, it doesn't compare to Amtek & E Freak Vs Mike Ekim's "I Want You". Over rolling drums and a stepping rhythm, the authors drop a sub-bass that's reminiscent both of E-Dancer and 2-step. Dan Curtin's contributions are also impressive; the US producer delivers two versions of "Deserted Station", the first, a jacking, sweat-soaked affair powered by a buzzing bass and shaking percussion, the second more stripped back, robotic and angular - and even more effective.
TechElectro - "Stars That Never Die" - (4:13) 127 BPM
D-Knox - "Summer Beach Time" - (8:06) 125 BPM
Terrence Parker - "So Beautiful" - (7:18) 124 BPM
Review: A second edition of the Various Artists Backpack EP, from French house label D3 Elements pulls together some key producers; Detroit soulful house star Terrence Parker is back once again, and joined by D-Knox, Dan Curtin and TechElectro. Curtin gets the ball rolling with "House Spirits," a summery, feel good house roller with trilling keys and organic chords all making for a jazzy vibe. Then comes a more synthetic and abstract cut, "Stars That Never Die", from TechElectro aka the fearsome American techno duo of Solid Gold Playaz, who also release as Dark Matrix. On the flip side, D-Knox aka Groove Man offers "Summer Beach Time," a cool as you like track with breezy chords, radiant pads and wooden sounding percussion flapping along next to the drums. Then it is down to Terrence Parker to close with the laid back, deep and soothing "So Beautiful," a sweet as you like house jam with magic chords and plenty of heart warming grooves.