Lee Curtiss, The Mantra EP


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The young Lee, long-time Detroiter, Seth Troxler’s former roommate, last seen trafficking in a loose cabal made of Wolves, Lambs and Crosstown Rebels, kick starts a new label by the Zürich-based Cityfox crew. In case you were curious about Lee’s agenda, the opening vocals should fill you in: “I’m only here for one night, but I’m playing for keeps. Sex, drugs and magic, baby, no time for sleep. ” A hard-hitting DJ’s creed for sure. The sparse, wired-tight rolling beats and insistent horndog bass line underneath leave little room for doubt that the man means what he says. Like “Mantra,” the vocals on “Vibrant Member” are breathy and down-pitched, perhaps after-effects of Wolf + Lamb’s patented Angelizer software. But now there’s an edgy uncertainty in the track’s monologue, which could be taken as a raw confession, or a huge piss-take. “I said I’d take care of you. What I meant is, I’d ask my dad for the money.” But wait, how much can you trust a guy who just told you he was in town only for one night? This guy who would love to be there but “plane tickets are expensive right now”? What went down in that interstitial space between A1 and A2? When the sun came up in a strange town, did some poor girl find herself bearing more of Lee than just a handsome memory?

After two tracks of restrained, intimidating techno laced with psycho-sexual subterfuge, side B gets down to hand-waving and the ass-shaking, making for a nicely diverse release. “Whatcha Need” has in title and sound all the rollicking, uptempo soulful energy you’d expect from a early 80s South Bronx street party. Looped slivers of funk guitar scratch anchor what’s in essence a ketamine-friendly version of filter house. Finally, “Reverse Caress” charms and disarms with a bouncing bed of congas and a mutilated saxophone that sounds like it was sampled from a cassette tape found mangled in the street. The sax’s serious tape flutter fuels a drunken delirium, perhaps a sign that you might want to call it a night already, unless you want to hear Lee on the phone in a few weeks…”Ok I got two-fifty….because I think you’re worth it..”

dejan  on June 11, 2009 at 9:33 AM

great statemante…hahaha!!!

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