To the best of my knowledge, ‘C-Mine’ is Tarquin’s first collaboration with Neana (the first to have seen daylight at least), and it’s a partnership that given the solo efforts of each pair, sounds like an egalitarian balance. Tarquin’s bass-led house here interweaves slickly with Neana’s techno impulses, and the fruit of their labour is an (at times) busy and maximal powerhouse of a track. As a Stray Landings contributor and with tracks on both our compilations, Tarquin is a familiar face round these parts, but a little biographical detail is necessary for those as yet unacquainted with the versatile producer currently operating in Guildford. His crisp productions traverse house, garage, and techno; with each track allowing one style to take prominence although never fully discarding the others. He’s enjoyed some success recently with his ever-improving productions (well of course he has, he was on our most recent compilation after all…), with what was his most recent track to emerge on his Soundcloud ‘Hyperglycemia’ – a chunky tech-house number - being played out by names such as French Fries and Maribou State. East London-based Neana is a producer I’m less familiar with; but from following some of his output online he appears to have brought plenty to the collaboration, particularly an ear for sharp percussion.
‘C-Mine’, as with ‘Hyperglycemia’, is unashamedly heavy. Whereas other tracks ostensibly following the same blueprint end up sounding crude and brash, ‘C-Mine’ also has an oddness to it that re-moulds its apparent aggression into a cantankerous oddball stew, reminiscent of releases on Untold’s Hemlock Recordings. An obvious comparison is the similarly foot-stomping work of a producer actually signed to Hemlock, Randomer. It’s a comparison that I hesitate to make as ‘C-Mine’ is more than just pastiche, but it’s an unavoidable one nonetheless - the squelching and thick synths of ‘C-Mine’ are clearly indebted to Randomer’s manic productions.
With that inevitable nod towards Randomer’s influence out the way, there’s plenty more to get to grips with in the track. There’s quite the medley of sounds in ‘C-Mine’, ranging from what sounds like a dialing code to lysergic synth stabs; and thought it could all overwhelming but the sparsely placed kick-drum helps to open up space. The extended intro mutates several times, twice hinting at a drop but both times refraining, leaving you wondering what direction ‘C-Mine’ is going to take. When it does drop, this question isn’t fully resolved, and the track continues to surprise, especially with the unexpected instrumental break three minutes in. ‘C-Mine’ loud, and unescapably so; no matter what volume you listen to it at the airtight production leaps out at you, with each kick demanding your attention and snares juddering about like gunshots. It may seem a trite thing to say, but as with a lot of dance music it doesn’t quite feel appropriate listening to it on a pair of bedroom monitors. That is not to say it doesn’t suit home listening; rather it has left me tantalized at the prospect of hearing it over a decent system and being physically assailed by it. Given the attention it has received since appearing online, it shouldn’t be a long wait.