Jitterbug, Arcane Theory EP


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Jitterbug is a producer who takes a refreshingly laid-back approach to his release schedule, albeit tempered by a meticulous and mature approach to sound design. A scant three releases in four years for London label Uzuri have seen him stake a claim for the fertile middle ground between jacking Chicago classicism and smoother house music. This 12″ carries on in much the same vein, with his well-tuned melodic nuance smoothing over a relatively abrasive acidic palette.

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First track, “Rise of the Machines,” is a piece of pure analog ruckus befitting of its title. A caustic acid bass line that squelches along with ever-increasing urgency meets brittle 303 mechanizations uptown, and rowdiness ensues. This is spirited stuff — mildly crazed, party-ready, unpretentious house-music realness; you can almost smell the sweat and amyl. “Fallout” is smoother fare — a sultry and low-slung groove that amalgamates a heavily processed pad melody with a frivolous, walking bass line. The effect is pleasant enough, although somewhat forgettable when compared with the caustic thump of the A-side. “Nomads” is the epic standout — and a logical meeting point between the dual musical personalities on display here. A 10-minute epic that centers on another acid synth lead, its slow building cacophony of discordant percussion married with an increasingly trippy call-and-response melodic structure, wind chime rattles, and the heaviest sub of the three tracks. Jitterbug has delivered another serious package — three roughed-up pieces that will satisfy those looking for timeless and meaty house music. See you sometime in 2014, then.

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