Hot on the heels of Flesh Is A Prison - the quirky, electronic wonderland he contributed to Cocoons phenomenal S compilation - the multi-talented Neil Landstrumm consolidates his position on the label roster with a debut 3-track EP that channels the uncompromising spirit of seminal UK labels like Network, Warp and Vinyl Solution. Its clear from the first few seconds of Sun Universe that were being transported back to 90s UK rave culture at a point where rave, jungle and house were mutating into speed garage. Ruffness abounds as stuttering snare rolls accompany the rude boy bass, ragga samples and classic hoover synth riff, while peripheral sounds circle the groove adding a contemporary twist. Staying true to the times, the arrangement plays it straight, alternating between two distinct structures - one labelled jump up and the other spread out! These timely juxtapositions of mood alone mean the track will blow up on any dance floor. Purple continues in a similar vein, with a phat, warping bass line underpinning the blunted beats and dusty bleeps. Landstrumm rides the mix in classic old school style, cutting up the linear arrangement with sudden unexpected deviations, alternative rhythms and layered melodies that lend a hidden complexity to the relentless groove. Theres a different energy at work here, one that flies in the face of certain overcooked, modern production techniques, finding more in common with a raw, vintage Carl Cox three deck mix tape, circa 1989. To round things off, Catnatized drops the tempo for a slab of grimy, acid funk that recalls the early excursions of Sheffields electronic pioneers, with a hint of embryonic Amsterdam House thrown in for good measure. Once again the bass line grabs the headlines, rasping and morphing in its own peculiar language while twisted vocals tease the dance floor with the logic of the absurd. Its another refreshingly unique statement from Neil Landstrumm, rounding off a must have EP that fits perfectly with the Cocoon ethos of championing the presence of the past.
Having been such the civil servant to an unwieldy scene it's always a pleasure to see legends arnd staunch advocates of their sound make their way onto Cocoon. With the boom of ice cannons and confetti, Landstrumm arrives on the label with some deep, trippy and well inspired electro sounds, with the smooth club-aggro and bassline bounce in "Purple" a nice start. The record pulls slightly leftfield with with the computer electronics and baddass vocals of "Catnatized", with the title track "Sun Universe" your direct route to a sour-faced electro-rave banger.
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