Minimal: for the most part, it’s not a genre that excites me too much. An endless wave of barely distinguishable M_nus releases with unfathomably high Discogs values certainly hasn’t helped, either. When it’s right however it can be really right, as output from labels like ~scape, or Jan Jelinek’s back-catalogue will attest. Berlin’s Margaret Dygas is another such artist who rarely gets it wrong. Her last release, the head-spinning ‘Even 11’, is no different, showcasing her freeform approach to the genre with as much ingenuity as ever.
Dygas’ work has always had a hazy, dream-like quality to it. An endless whirlpool of sampled drums and soulful abstractions come together to form percussive romps which put you in a state of hypnosis. ‘Even 11’ is a slinking, cautious half-stepper, following this heritage as strongly as ever. The track maintains an unrelenting sub-pressure across its ten minute duration, heavily restrained, yet oddly psychedelic at the same time.
“How can she lose… what a winning hand” sputters out at awkward intervals. Dygas’ use of The Commodores ‘Brick House’ here is typical of her penchant for re-contextualising sound. This, along with her knack for programming rhythms, brings the early percussive excursions of Hessle Audio’s Joe to mind - taut motorik drums and oddball, groove-rider basslines working into a dizzying climax.
In many ways, ‘Wishing Well’ follows a similar trajectory. Swirling vocal loops, enchanting drum-play and off-kilter cymbal flourishes work to mesmeric effect. A reductionist sub chugs underneath, which in another context could easily find itself sitting on a Sähkö Records 12”.
Perlon have played host to some of Dygas’ best work, notably her classic 2009 ‘Invisible Circles’ EP. ‘Even 11’ maintains her reputation as one of the most inventive dancefloor practitioner’s out there, crafting a release which stitches a web of unlikely samples into something truly magical.