Margaret Dygas, Margaret Dygas

[Perlon]


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Whoa, when did Perlon hit catalog number 86? I’m not sure which is harder to wrap your head around: that one of the defining labels of the past decade, which first helped define microhouse and the new wave of minimal, is as old as it is, or that a label with its pedigree is still around and kicking. Most really great labels can weather one or two shifts in the public’s taste, but often end up closing their doors soon afterwards. Others can have a great run for a couple of years before sacrificing their integrity to turn out schlock every few weeks. Perlon has succumbed to neither of those scenarios, and fourteen years after their founding their releases are still as highly anticipated as they always have been. This is due in large part to their ability to adapt with the times, while still keeping that Perlon sound record buyers love so much. Another large part of their continued success is their unparalleled A&R, recently drafting in Shackleton and, most crucially, Margaret Dygas. Dygas had only issued two releases before her breakout 12″ Invisible Circles, one of 2009’s finest slices of abstract techno, and she followed that up with her debut album How Do You Do? last year. Now she’s back on Perlon for a self-titled doublepack of extended, tripping house cuts.

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The tracks here are the logical extension of those two releases, with the warped dance floor sensibilities of her last Perlon release mingling with some of the most abstract moments found on her debut album. “Missing You Less” is a warped examination of the reduced, percussive arrangements Dygas is known for. It’s one of the best cuts here, mainly for its upwards building arrangement and subtle textures, but also for its dance floor potential in the right hands. “Soon” is almost deep house, albeit imagined through Dygas’ peculiar lens, while “Pressed For Time” plays with acoustic percussion and circling melodies. The second slab of wax opens with the hypnotic and driving “Country Way Of Life,” which uses slowly evolving melodies and vocal snippets to lock the listener in an early morning daze. “41” sounds almost like a peak-time techno banger given its surroundings, yet it’s an extremely reduced and spacious track; in fact, it’s that very spaciousness that Dygas imbues in all her tracks that make them so unique and engaging. “Ocbinh’s Groove” closes out the package with more delayed voices and undulating patterns which maintain the heady and slightly unsettling vibes. It can be hard for new artists to develop their own unique voice, but that’s a task Margaret Dygas has already accomplished on her first couple of releases. Margaret Dygas shows that her take on techno still has many sides left to explore — a captivating document of where her sound is right now and where it might be heading.

basset  on July 12, 2011 at 10:24 AM

I’ve always been curious – what’s is the distinction between microhouse and minimal? In my mind the two have always been pretty much interchangeable, but they’re always written about as separate genre categories.

Great record and review, regardless.

littlewhiteearbuds  on July 12, 2011 at 10:32 AM

I’ve always viewed the difference as being that microhouse made use of tiny sample snippets to form tracks. Minimal would just mean reduced sounds.

bengood  on July 12, 2011 at 8:55 PM

i’ve always thought that microhouse had sort of reduced “regular” house music sounds as well – like similar hit hat patterns and kicks but with really tight, stripped back decays..

Chris Miller  on July 13, 2011 at 11:05 AM

For me, microhouse was Force Tracks, early Perlon and Playhouse. (Early 2000s)

Minimal (or mnml) was M_nus and the like. (Mid 2000s)

But, as with most genre tags, it doesn’t matter all that much.

Trackbacks

Little White Earbuds July Charts 2011 – Little White Earbuds  on August 12, 2011 at 10:11 AM

[…] Mary” [Smallville Records] 08. Move D, “Workshop 13 B2″ [Workshop] 09. Margaret Dygas, “Missing You Less” [Perlon] 10. Tshetsha Boys, “Anidyi Nyama” [Honest Jon's]Andrew Ryce 01. Machinedrum, […]

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