Chicago Skyway & Dcook, Lager

[M>O>S Deep]

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Sean Hernandez released his second record, Heavens, for M>O>S in 2009, and Lager, a partial collaboration with fellow Chicagoan Dcook, marks his return to the Dutch imprint. He’s a bit deeper in the game now, having even released an album, but his project’s style is as surefooted as ever. The tracks here play with classic Chicago tropes, but are produced with a lot of contemporary polish, more updates than throwbacks.

“Lager Nord,” with Dcook, steadily stacks claps and snares atop a cowbell-led base, which intensify alongside gleaming and elegiac chords. The track is all about the way the synth lines dictate its flow, and their emotional resonance looms over everything. Next, M>O>S boss Aroy Dee edits “Bad Driver,” one of Hernandez’s solo tracks. Hernandez couldn’t have chosen a more perfect title — for the edit, at least — because the track swerves, all bleepy lines and clattering snares, relentlessly stopping and starting. Finally, Steven Tang provides a remix for “Lager” under his Obsolete Music Technology moniker, and it might just steal the show. Clearly Chicago Skyway and Dcook put a lot of effort into their track’s bright sheen, but Tang goes the opposite direction, giving it a coat of nostalgic dust. He strips things down, lacing a spacious, shivering rhythm with filtered-down dreaminess, the track’s zig-zagging melodies murkily luminescent. In short, Lager is a varied and inventive release from a cast at the top of their game.

Joseph Hallam  on July 12, 2011 at 8:44 AM

Great! Everything M>O>S put’s out is essential and of the highest quality, Im looking forward to getting this.

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