Label: Sleaze Records
Release Date: 20/05/2013
This is the eightieth release for Scottish label Sleaze Records and it is an excursion into deeply immersive, dance floor Techno. The label is as consistent as it is exciting, and a firm favourite over here at Stray Landings. The only issue we have is keeping up to date with the label’s prolific releases schedule. Never the less, this multi-artist EP includes some incredible music, each contributor appearing to have pulled out their best work.
The EP begins with the Argentine giant, Jonas Kopp. ‘Mountak’ is an exercise in driving melodic Techno, it feels comfortably fast pushing way out of lazy dancing territory and into full on raving mode. Having said that, its full force is only felt when listened across the whole seven minutes. At first glance, its melodic structure feels familiarly simple, but as the track progresses the chords swell and rise to euphoric levels. Kopp’s familiar control of the percussive elements is decidedly understated, leaving the chords and subtle leads to drive the track forward; it is an outstanding track from an artist on top of his game.
The next offering comes from Minneapolis native Dustin Zahn, ‘Forward unto Dawn’ feels slightly slower than the first track and perhaps suffers from it considering the minimal sound pallet. However, much like the Kopp piece it manages to blend a very familiar set of percussive tropes with refreshingly hypnotizing, chord drones. Again it is a piece that lends itself to an extended play, the slow build up is to be honest relatively dull, but as is gets into full swing by the four minute mark we are reminded why this mix of tension and release is so effective, particularly for the dance floor.
It was certainly nice to hear a new contribution from Flug on this EP. Across the Stray Landings team there was a lingering concern that the remixes on his last release for Sleaze overshadowed him slightly, so to see him produce something that stands out clearly on the EP is really impressive. ‘No Way Out’ feels much slower than the previous two tracks on the EP but this time is entirely appropriate. There is very little in the way of melodic development in this track, instead low swung drums are occasionally augmented by dissonant lead lines to head nodding effect. The tonal quality of the percussive repetition is outstanding and on the right sound system would be all the best kinds of hypnotic. The steady arrangement of the track and slow build ups, which on occasion are punctuated by outrageously obtuse synth flutters, make sure boredom is the last feeling produced by this aptly titled claustrophobic wonder.
To say that Sleaze saved the best till last is certainly difficult with an EP of this quality and pitting the last track against what was the firm favourite up until this point from Kopp is probably unnecessary. BUT, the three way collaborative track ‘RS7000’ from Tony Rohr, Billy Johnston & Gennaro Mastrantonio is to use the correct terminology… A BOMB! Up until the four minute mark we are treated to driving 808 percussion in the low end, and sharp and well placed percussion up top, and to be honest with you that would have been enough from them and it would have impressed me. But, at the 4 minute mark we are given an incredible twisting chord line, which builds up to what feels like a typical mega drop, only to be subdued again as the bass comes back in. This is the best of what dance floor Techno can be, both tough and emotive. Its composition is masterful and has to be the highlight of what is a really stunning EP from the Glasgow label. If quality like this continues, then this Sleaze select series may turn out to be a real treasure trove of future classics.