John Heckle, 4th Dimension

[Mathematics Recordings]

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John Heckle is a Liverpool-based producer who released his Mathematics Recordings debut, Life On Titan, last year. Heckle’s sound is very much in line with that of his label, merging classic Chicago house motifs with plenty of jazz influences and a clear willingness to experiment. On 4th Dimension, he furthers that ideal on four exhilarating tracks.

The record opens with the title track, a mildly acidic Mr. Fingers-esque workout. It has a formula we’ve all heard before — dusky pads, frantically shuffling hi-hats, an anemic solo on top — but Heckle pulls it off with finesse. Simply put, it’s a flawless exercise in classicist Chicago house. On “Forgotten Lights,” Heckle goes considerably darker and more propulsive, melding ominous pads with relentless rhythm patterns and a looping four-note arrangement that sounds like some kind of heavy machinery warning signal. “What Once Was” begins with airy, vibraphone-led lightness, and spends its duration moving into progressively more jacking territory. It’s incredible how seamlessly and stealthily Heckle makes this transition, and by its end those jazzy opening seconds seem like a faint memory. The record concludes with “Ahead of Time,” a sputtering clap-less jam in the style of label head Jamal Moss. It has a fairly disjointed format, twisting unpredictably and occasionally rupturing, but it’s no less rewarding than its more straightforward counterparts. On the whole, 4th Dimension is powerful, forward-thinking stuff, frequently dense, but never sacrificing immediacy.

Chris Miller  on March 29, 2011 at 7:32 AM

killer record

Joseph Hallam  on March 29, 2011 at 10:10 AM

One of the best records I’ve bought this year. Mathematics are on fire right now.

mark  on March 29, 2011 at 12:59 PM

Heckle is quality.

Blaktony  on March 30, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Quality, well said & well deserved. One of those records that makes you wanna crate-dig 4, like we used 2.

134340  on March 31, 2011 at 9:08 PM

Heckle is at the top of my list right now. Jakbeat!

Matthew Martin  on April 3, 2011 at 4:20 PM

Wonderful record! Mathematics is continuing to put out quality releases.

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