A Made Up Sound, Sun Touch

Photo by Lola Dupré & Kristiina Wilson

[A Made Up Sound]

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Throw a stone anywhere in house and techno and you’ll hit a production alias. Plenty of producers release music under a couple of different names, but only a handful have been able to embody each persona so fully that none of them feels like a side project. Rene Pawlowitz, whose aliases have gone so far as to remix each other, is one of those producers. Dave Huismans, the Dutch bass juggernaut whose A Made Up Sound project Pawlowitz championed on his Subsolo imprint, has proven himself to be another. The softer side of 2562, AMOS lets balmy house syrup flow over chapped dubstep knuckles, and the combination has made for some of Huismans’ juiciest and most effective material. So it’s no wonder there’s a lot riding on AMOS’ latest self-released sides, especially for anyone who heard his house-flecked “Rework/Closer” 12″ last year and still has goosebumps. Hardly the house coming-out party you might have expected (if anything, his 2562 full-length Unbalance pretty well accomplished that), “Sun Touch” instead finds the flecks of wiggly, pale house that distinguish Huismans’ personae burrowing even deeper into the spaces between all that jagged steppin’. It’s another stand-out AMUS record, but he’s hardly just showing off.

[zero a=”A Made Up Sound” r=”Sun Touch” t=”Drain”]

He’s certainly not trying to sound pretty, either. Pouring a thick coat of grim over Unbalance‘s considerably rosier palate, “Sun Touch” resists the colorful and whistleable at every conceivable turn, which isn’t to say he’s not giving us something to jack to. Out of the void of uncertain synth pads and jagged drums, the A-side takes an awesomely unexpected turn towards Mathematics; pumped full of rough acid resonance, uncertain dancers might quit scratching their heads and let loose. Stepping techno drum machines wrapped in crisp, metallic sound design have long been a mainstay of Huismans’ sonics, but it’s rare we get to hear them so distilled. However weird he’ll get, he almost always lets you know where you stand rhythmically; more often than not, his intricately arranged beats march in lockstep. That’s the case with “Sun Touch,” but “Drain,” which kicks off the flip, sees its core evaporate almost entirely. The title is fitting: a stuttering, weirdly placed downbeat gives you the sense of falling down endlessly, with each ever-unexpected bass push pressing against you like a tub-clogging plug of hair. It’s the lusher of the record’s sides, but the jungle’s rotting, or at least methodically burned down. The bright, wonky bonus beat, “Untitled (Shortcut),” cleanses our soot-coated palates but feels unfairly marginalized at two and a half minutes. When a veritable placeholder brims with more studio confidence than many label rosters, you know you’re listening to someone working at the top of his game. Clawing his way deeper into his farthest-out tendencies, our fair producer has provided further evidence of his elastic genius. He’s delivered not just a fantastic A Made Up Sound record, but an excellent Dave Huismans record, too.

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