Hypercolour has done a great job of differentiating itself from contemporaries. There are patches of functional tech house in the label’s catalog, but they’ve been tempered by more lasting records, such as Christopher Rau and Tilman Tausendfreund’s Pea Gravel, Huxley’s Let It Go, and Tom Demac’s Swimming in my Mind. Perhaps it’s this mixture — at once appealing to DJs, casual clubbers and chin-strokers alike — which has seen the UK label rise to prominence in the last few years. Case in point: Fat Controller, a collaboration between Martin Dawson, Glimpse and Hypercolour’s honcho, Alex Jones. The record’s two original tracks skirt the boundaries of boorish tech house, while its sole remix comes from the fiercely creative and nuanced Roman Flügel, LWE’s favorite artist last year. A strange mixture indeed, but one that seems certain to attract the entire spectrum of listeners.
For those heavily invested in house, the title track seems unlikely to hold many thrills. But with its druggy, nonsensical vocals and dirty, cascading bass riff, it will no doubt prove irresistible to crowds as they holler, “I’m a fat controller!” and fist-pump to its galloping beat. “Faulty Female” is much trackier, beefing up the drums to a thunderous boom and capitalizing on pregnant bass drops, rather than constant motion. The huge kicks and dramatic bass play are OK as a foundation — techno use these blocks often — but the lack of adornment is disappointing. Just a few shimmering glances of synth and vocal decorate the track, and they’re not quite sufficient. Unsurprisingly, it’s Flügel’s remix of “Fat Controller” which tops the record. It conjures a bevy of sounds foreign to the original without stepping too far from it. Most remarkable of all is the German’s successful use of the gimmicky vocals. As they’re poured out between microscopic chimes and xylophone, the sludgy words add a tasteful sense of contrast to his intricate melodies. For this version alone, Fat Controller is probably worth purchasing, an outcome the shrewd crew at Hypercolour probably hoped for when they elected Flügel’s talents.