Characterized by precision and spatialization that is dramatic even by dub techno’s strict standards, Levon Vincent’s productions masterfully walk the line between club functionality and compositional sophistication, sustaining a frighteningly strong presence of quality control. Alongside a busy tour schedule, the fourth release on Deconstruct Music from pal Joey Anderson, and a pivotal Fabric mix, this only left time for one monster 12″ in 2012, one whose three cuts each approach the dance floor on their own terms. These tracks are basically heavyweight, stripped-down, and very fine manipulations of mood.
The nearly 10-minute warehouse epic, “Stereo Systems,” facilitates endless anticipation, laconic in its minimalism and especially hypnotic in effect. Its sounds are like illuminated metal shavings broken down to infinitesimal melodic detail, drifting toward celestial grounds and splattered around the propelling 4/4 in flashes of novelty. On the flip side, “Together Forever” brings this imagery to a formidably different plane, enhancing Levon’s trademark mammoth thumps with an assertive, stern techno stance. Phasing in and out of focus, fluctuating bits of sound come in massed waves, building the energy of the track almost to the edge of exploding.
The popular standout of the complete release will surely be the long-awaited “Speck’s Jam,” already famous for a seductive acoustic bass riff, kinetic NYC rhythm, and an instantly memorable, lonely Morricone guitar howl, sprinkled with the best of the author’s dub sigils. It’s perhaps the most immediate and also the most accessible of the three, although since its inception in 2009 (when it could first be heard on Underground Quality’s promo CD), it hasn’t aged as well as one might have hoped. That won’t stop it from doing some serious damage on dance floors all over the globe, however. Most importantly, this Novel Sound single makes clear that Levon Vincent’s sound design has matured into something so considered it’s almost ritualized. His eloquent sublimity is difficult to resist, and with a stellar trinity like Stereo Systems his standard remains unparalleled.