Label: West Norwood Cassette Library
Release Date: 13/05/2013
If confronted with select snippets from Spatial’s latest EP for WNCL, you’d probably be forgiven for thinking you were being presented with some fairly questionable 90s style Hard-House. With further listening however, it becomes apparent that there is a level of craftsmanship and musicality through the release that sets Spatial’s latest work miles ahead of its weathered and actually fairly distant relations.
Opener ‘Set Apart’ is perhaps a good summation of this, entering the setting of twisted Techno recently endorsed by the likes of MPIA3, through its use of overdriven kicks and crunchy high-end. It quickly veers off course however, partially relaxing into the jacking house styles typical of WNCL releases. This said, Spatial’s darker elements do not dampen themselves alongside the introduction of liquid rave stabs. ‘Set Apart’s second curveball comes at the midpost, with the introduction of some fairly inebriating string samples. These sickly-sweet textures are quickly joined by Spatial’s first use of vocal samples which run through a brief buildup, before dropping out as the track reverts back to its more simplistic origins.
Of the four tracks, ‘Right Now’ is closest in nature to ‘Set Apart’ as the majority of its attention is given to infectious house grooves, and similarly lighthearted rave chords.
The pairing of ‘Set Apart’ and ‘Right Now’ seems all the more logical when assessing the similarities between the EP’s other two offerings; the crazed, ‘Lost’, and similarly manic closer, ‘Syn Cop’. Both possess a fervent intensity created by Spatial’s fantastic use of acid hooks and contorted electro glitches. Of the two, ‘Syn Cop’ is the more affront, shaking off the shoulder-shrugging swung rhythms of ‘Lost’, in favour of breakneck Acid-Techno.
The WNCL press release includes a quote from Spatial - suggesting a desire to create something out of the ordinary, moderated by the hankering to produce material which is club friendly. To my mind the EP, as with most of Spatial’s releases achieves both these feats with an air of ease that suggests its nothing more than instinctive to him.