Boot's sister label Zoot Records has been strictly reserved for the sounds of The Maghreban, an alias used by Dr Zygote to deliver his exotic and utterly singular brand of house music. As a side note, the man has appeared on the excellent Versatile imprint out of Paris and he' sure to pop up here and there over the next few years if he keeps releasing such tight little floor gems! The MT70 EP, as you'd imagine, is all based around the Casio instrument and you can hear that good ol' dustiness come through on all four cuts. "MT702" is more of a classic house lick, while "MT703" is more broken, rigged and finely twisted! "MT705" is abstract, less focussed on the dancefloor and much heavier on the instrumentation, whereas "MT707" is a synth-heavy house jerker with gritty percussion and that familiar Maghrebian charm. Hotly recommended, don't miss it.
The Maghreban has always been difficult to pin down, musically speaking. His last outing, for Versatile, doffed a cap to classic house and disco, while previous EPs on the Zoot label he runs (under the alternative Dr Zygote alias) have melded together a variety of house and techno influences. He's at it again here, with opener "Now Easy" sounding like a fusion of house-tempo hardcore rave influences, booming tribal house bass and wonky ragga samples. As for the accompanying dub, it's a straight up post-dubstep-meets-hardcore boomer. Flip for the rolling pianos and locked-in house beats of "Not Good", and the freestyle jazz horns, spooky electronics and low-slung grooves of "Hi Top".
Whether he's delivering Arabic-influenced acid house, off-kilter dub disco, or mutant techno, The Maghreban's releases on Zoot Records are always worth checking. This latest, hard-to-pigeonhole excursion is no different. He starts with the off-kilter drums, vaguely threatening rave riffs, fuzzy textures and quirky vocal samples of "Dynamite", a track that sits somewhere between early Meat Beat Manifesto, acid house and contemporary industrial techno. Happily, he's included a "Drums" version of the same cut for those who want to get creative in the mix. "Calypso Christmas" is strangely titled given that it's not calypso or festively themed, but it is a pleasingly sweaty, floor-friendly curiosity.
It has become a tradition for London based outsider house producer The Maghreban to make records commemorating the passing of cats he knew and loved. One of these tracks is for a sadly departed feline named "Martha". Here the artist also known as Dr Zygote presents three captivating jams. One of the tracks features what someone said sounded like too many "Pots & Pans" and indeed this lo-fi and polyrhythmic number reaches near cosmic moments. The sombre title track is a reduced and slow burning jam featuring broken beats, gloomy piano parts and eerie pads that altogether create an unsettling atmosphere. he final track is a tropical and esoteric sounding arrangement he made using "Elka" X705 organ sounds. The Martha EP follows up two great EPs - Brooklyn and Lose It, respectively, released on the Bristolian imprint Black Acre in 2016
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