Release Date: 01/07/13
Mote-Evolver is one of those labels that seems utterly incapable of releasing mediocre music, with each release being exceptionally curated. Psyk’s Arcade EP was a runaway success last month and it certainly seems fitting that the label have grabbed two more producers who have had an impeccable run over the last year. Here at Stray Landings we are big fans of Developer and Truncate, having reviewed their releases more than once and when we saw that Mote-Evolver had snapped the pair up for their ‘Parallel Series’ we were excited to say the least.
The ‘Parallel Series’ is somewhat set apart from the rest of label, in ethos at least. This run of records is kept exclusively for split EPs, with the concept being for the artists featured to ‘contrast and compliment’ each other. To be perfectly honest we have had reservations about multi artist Eps in the past, where only too often dodgy curation and running order have left the offerings sounding a little incoherent. While the rest of the ‘Parallel Series’ has tended to stand above this assumption with personal highlights coming from Shifted and Samuel Kemppi’s contribution last year, the series hasn’t delivered a pairing that seems to have really lived up to an interesting contrast and comparison, until now! The pairing of the two West Coast producers is inspired. Their close friendship and professional collaborations is in sharp contrast to the differences in style they deliver on the EP, making for truly interesting listening as well as plenty of dance floor clout.
Beginning with ‘Random Attractions’ we get a typically macho piece of distorted, driving Techno that Developer does so well. It is perhaps straighter and more clearly aimed at the dance floor than usual, with a hypnotic chord pattern fighting its way to the forefront for most of the track before being given full reign at the four minute mark. ‘Drive Themes’ leaves the distorted atmospheres and reverbs behind and gets straight to point with an almost atonal stab sequence relentlessly pushing its way throughout the entire six minutes. This is where Developer and Truncate’s sound seems to intersect most directly, because while Truncate’s ‘Fourty Four’ is more sparse than ‘Drive Themes’ they both exhibited a rolling low end and slinky synth work that seems to be a sound share by the two Americans.
Truncate’s ‘Is It Skinny’ is a great cut, with a pointed, repetitive synth line working the listener into a trance like state. Having said that, while Truncate’s golden moments such as ‘Concentrate’ and ‘Modify’ have made heavy use of the repetitive vocal refrain, the ‘Is It Skinny’ repetition feels slightly out of place. Its position in the mix and filtered presence is expertly done, but ultimately the best parts of the track are when the vocal falls away. One of the marked differences between Developer and Truncate is that Developer rarely resorts to such tropes, or at least not as frequently as Truncate seems too. ‘Forty Four’ leaves the vocal gimmicks behind and see’s Truncate operate at a faster BPM than usual to staggering effect. The slinking synth line and typically razor sharp percussion shows off Truncate’s minimalism at its best. The track is short and sweet and is aimed firmly at the dance floor, where it will be welcomed with open arms.
All in all the fourth outing of the ‘Parallel Series’ see’s its most interesting incarnation. The geographical closeness of the artists, as well as their artistic similarities makes for really interesting listening especially with the focus being on the listener’s ability to ‘compare and contrast’ the records. If Mote-Evolver continue to place artists which are perhaps closer together in terms of their positions in the scene, both geographically and artistically then the conceptual focus of this series will continue to become more solid. Considering the fact that, this is a conceptual record in an albeit subtle way, it is also characteristic of Mote-Evolver that it would be just so bloody danceable and perfectly at home in a club environment. Long may it continue!