There Are A Few Things In My Life EP by Spencer Parker – Apt International
Spencer Parker’s latest sees him return to Apt. International with another EP in a purple patch started by his debut long player on Saved last year. The Berlin resident may have a self-deprecating outlook on the music industry, but his approach to music is slavishly dedicated, and his take on house music unblemished by fads. The Japanese label, an offshoot of the respected New World Records, seems a sound fit for the Englishman, and with two remixes by Patrice Leiris, this is a rewarding package.
Parker’s original distils tight core elements into a rolling, bubbling dancefloor houser, making subtle use of fx to add colour to its heads-down groove. Rumbling sub-bass and percussive hits intertwine with bleeps and handclaps, vocal swathes deep in reverb and delay washing over the track to emphasise wet and dry, and maintain the momentum that’s in evidence from the start. The remixes provide a different angle on Spencer’s house formula, employing a simple two-note low end, and showering choppy hats into the mix to provide a nervous, edgy energy, the Relief Remix firing in the vocal and the dub stripping it back to its core. House music at its most elemental, and all the better for it.
Machine by Kirk Degiorgio & Ben Sims – Machine
For those familiar with Ben Sims and Kirk Degiorgio’s balls-out Machine parties and their committment to no-nonsense music-led promotion, it’ll be a delight to discover they’ve now started up a label to run in conjunction with them. The two artists are revered for their attention to techno’s more traditional elements, and this EP is a microcosm of their vast collections and influences beyond that genre, making modern interpretations of electronic music’s most classic of sounds. As a bystander to their London throwdowns, it’s the perfect accompaniment.
The title track is Degiorgio’s, and rather than go down the obvious techno route, it’s a lush, atmospheric cut of driving house that could have been released 20 years before, rich with analogue sounds and a chord progression that would bring a smile to the face of even the more hardened perfectionist. Moving from early, understated groove, the bassline underpins the melody, and is joined by rich, warm pads, with layers being added at each 4-bar point, until, after the break it’s a fully-formed thing of beauty. Sims’ counterpoint, Metal Works, is effervescent techno at its best, with discordant notes and fizzing percussion, upping the ante and making it easy to close the eyes and be transported into the middle of a sweaty dancefloor. Sims’ own remix of Machine Theme is similarly uncompromising, taking the low-end groove and encasing it in angry stabs and waves of percussive punch. Fantastic.