Alex Cortex/DJ Stingray 313, Soliton/Null Physics

[Pomelo]


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Alex Cortex has recently announced his exit from techno music, citing (among other reasons) a lack of gigs and cool label interest. Don’t blame Dan Lodig or Art Vega, though. Three of the last five releases for their Pomelo imprint have showcased the diverse Cortex stylings. The latest of these finds Cortex working alongside kindred spirit Sherard Ingram, here assuming his DJ Stingray 313 handle. Cortex introduces the team-up with “Soliton,” a headlong rush through electro-steeped techno. Echoing stabs give the track a perpetual “dilating pupils” stimulus, while the zig-zagging laser-beam scales highlight the frantic fluorescence that’s linked him up with Wireblock. Reportedly dug out of a backlog of unpublished material, “Soliton” is of a piece with Cortex’s recent output for Pomelo, but it also makes plain the commonalities with Sherard Ingram’s music, to the point that I’d call the last Urban Tribe record “Soliton”‘s best point of comparison. Ingram, however, reaches for the dimmer switch for his remix, casting Cortex’s original in black-and-white. Despite its steadily galloping pace, it’s blunted and murky, forbidding and tense — a tougher, more stripped down strain of techno than we usually receive from him.

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But perhaps Ingram was saving his bioluminesecent squiggles for his own original track. “Null Physics” advances in a continuous series of quick swells, switching between quivering bubble-funk bass lines and searing, doubled-up electro synths over brisk but spare drum programming. Cortex swings in another direction entirely for his rework, shifting into something like drum & bass, huge crashing drums and machine gun rushes ricocheting about the speakers while a shrill sine wave threads an eerie sense of menace through the track. Though neither remix surpasses the originals in punch or personality, the interaction between these artists is palpably engaged, and the artist pairing proves more than complimentary. Here’s hoping that labels like Pomelo can entice Cortex with more stimulating splits like this one until he recovers an enthusiasm for producing solo tracks.

sam  on November 3, 2009 at 9:18 PM

is it just me or is the original in 5/4 time? which is pretty unusual for dance floor music… interesting stuff!

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