Review: James Johnson's debut release on Metroplex calls to mind Detroit techno's past. The title track's beats are rough and heavy and the accompanying rhythm angular and jerky. However, it's really the Aubrey remix that calls to mind Metroplex's early days, as an atonal groove houses bleeps and sub-tonal frequencies and threatens to fall apart but without ever actually doing so. Johnson's other contributions to the EP, "Stop Motion" and "Blood Ties", are more straightforward. Tough, tribal beats and rolling rhythms provide the basis for Johnson to fire off detuned, at times discordant riffs that remind the listener of early Population One material.
Review: Earlier this year Terrence Dixon announced plans to retire from making music with immediate effect, sending shockwaves through a techno community that was still basking in some fine recent albums for Tresor and Surface Records and a clutch of 12" material. One of Dixon's final acts before coming to his decision seemingly was to record A Mind Of His Own, this EP for Metroplex and if it is indeed the final piece of production work from him, it's a fitting send off with Juan Atkins' label one of the first to usher in his work as Population One back in 1996. Opening cut "Musical Promises" is Dixon at his most enveloping, especially when the brisk percussion drops out to let the thickness of the production consume you, whilst "The Jazz Student" and "Starting Over" are as good as any of the lithe, alien techno that he committed to the Reduction cause.