Thursday, 6 January 2011

Vinyl and Digital reviews: Octave One & Spoek Mathambo

Octave One - Revisited Series II (430 West Records)

430 West Records is revisiting its’ back catalogue of the past 20 years and handing them over for 2011 reworks by top techno artists. Next up in the Revisited Series are Octave One’s 1990 Transmat debut, I ‘Believe’ and ‘Daystar Rising’ released on Underground Resistance / 430 West Records. Sandwell District step in on remix duties for ‘I Believe’, and it sounds exactly as you would expect a Sandwell remix of Octave to sound! Second-gen Detroit meets Basic Channel, its’ tight and compressed clicky rhythms are joined by an increasing number of counter-rhythms; the song morphs and grows with each additional layer to a peaktime groove, gradually lifting filters to reveal crisp vocals and sharper melodic swells. There’s a nice flavour to ‘Daystar Rising’, remixed by Aril Brikha, who also releases his excellent Deeparture in Time Revisited this month, and he takes the track to warmer territory while keeping that old school vibe. I have to concede that I prefer the ‘oomph’ of the original, but it’s a nice wee chance to visit techno ancestry (albeit only 13 years of history for this 1998 release!).

Released: 31 January 2011

Spoek Mathambo.- Don't Mean To Be Rude ft Zaki Ibrahim (BBE)

Taken as the third single from Spoek Mathambo’s debut solo LP ‘Mshini Wam’, this release features three remixes, the original, and a clean radio version to make sure you get your money’s worth and genre satisfaction. The original is a quick fix at 2 mins and 51 seconds, but it’s a busy song with a lot packed in; skankin’ bass-fuelled quickstep is embraced by tweaks of electro, crunk and off-beat soul, and kept moving by the chord stabs, all the while punctuated by Spoek’s slick and buttery consonants. The Toadally Krossed Out 3ball remix strips off the skanking for banging straight electro - some reviewers have suggested it’s dubstep-infused but I’m still at a loss as to where they accrued this idea. The Scratcha DVA is notable by it’s complete lack of Spoek’s lyrics, replaced by the softer female tones to accompany a deep and dubby swathe of house. The least impressive of the bunch is Don Rimini’s Doo Doo Remix which slips too far down the generic commercial dance scale and away from the original’s intentions. Interestingly, it’s the Toadally Krossed Out 3ball remix which has been getting most attention ahead of the official release - in part this may be because the original lacks length for a sustained club mix, whereas the remixes - at double the length and with powerful bass drums - can be mixed in and out while still getting that filth-infused fix from Mathambo.

Released: 10th January 2011

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