Hugh Mane, Spectra Sonics EP

[Running Back]


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The influence of retro sounds is certainly strong in contemporary house music, but producers’ desire to reference house music’s salad days is certainly nothing new. What some people forget is how far back that craving runs, a fact evident in the latest release from Running Back. The promo text for Hugh Mane’s Spectral Sonics EP claims it was sourced from a long forgotten, London-based producer’s unreleased DAT recorded in 1990. It says a lot about our current climate (and Lupo’s mastering) that listening to the record didn’t immediately convince me of its age: three particularly reverent house tracks which are entirely relevant today.

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This is something of a mixed blessing. All three originals feel instantly familiar and welcome, even as you’re searching your mental catalog for their antecedents. The ambling bass line and hazy synths in “Back Life” instantly finger Hugh Mane as a Chicago house devotee with matching gear. Fluted melodies and varied synth textures, however, provide a gentle twist. “Hard To Finish If You’re Finish” similarly builds on well trodden Motor City territory but adds more of its creator in the finished results. The syncopated hi-hat/clap programming feels fresh even today, locking the scrambling main motif into the dance floor. At first “My Midi Is A Mess” seems like it’s own animal, a bubbly organ riff and pitched tweet sounds giving the effect of champagne’s lighthearted buzz. Sustained melodies, however, suddenly reference both ESP’s “It’s You” and Ron Trent’s “Altered States,” the latter of which was released that same year. As with the other cuts, it’s not enough to render the track superfluous; instead, one expects to pull the Spectral Sonics EP when wanting to channel house music’s fertile first decade without pulling an actual classic. While unremarkable, the beat track “Fukdemdiscoidkids,” edited by Tuff City Kids, fits that mold as well. Makes you wonder if we truly need so many records with old sounds if decent vintage ones are still be unearthed.

Trackbacks

Little White Earbuds September Charts 2013 – Little White Earbuds  on October 5, 2013 at 1:20 PM

[…] [Live At Robert Johnson] (buy) 07. BNJMN, “CVRD” [Rush Hour Recordings] (buy) 08. Hugh Mane, “Hard To Finish If You’re Finish” [Running Back] (buy) 09. Terrence Parker Feat. Reno Ka, “Finally” (Louie Vega Remix) […]

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