Mass Prod, Deeply Cooked Music

[Kontra-Musik]


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Italian-born, Switzerland-based analog fetishist Mass Prod made the jump from net labels to pressed wax only recently, but he’s already caught the keen eye of Sweden’s Kontra-Musik, whose records I make a point of keeping tabs on. The catchy melody of “Focaccina,” the summery house track he’s delivered to the label, comes courtesy of a Moondog sample, while much of the credit for the track’s sunshine rhythms presumably falls on the 909 Mass Prod’s nicknamed “The Fox.” Relaxed, gently cheerful, and a bit deep, “Focaccina” is feel-good house and solid early-morning fodder. There’s some build late in the track — keyboards gathering around the sampled melody, and a hail of cymbal kicking up the intensity — but “Focaccina” maintains a light touch and a smooth flow, more interested in winning approving smiles than hands-in-the-air screams.

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One of the perks of recording with Kontra, of course, is that they’ll always pull a top-shelf producer for remix duties. Let’s look back on the past three years: Marcel Dettmann, Scuba, Shed, Anton Zap, Luke Hess, A Made Up Sound, Heinrich Mueller… “Deeply Cooked Music” adds Jus-Ed to this list, whose slow-burning remixes are really giving his own, comparatively tougher productions a run for their money these days. “Focaccina” is already furbished with quite a bit of rhythmic Roland cowbell, yet Ed ups the ante and rolls out a cowbell melody for his “Soul Stir Mix.” As for the rest of the percussion, the original’s ebullient rhythms are toned down for something a little more determined. The Moondog sample is carried over to the remix, but in more conservative excerpts. In their place, Ed deploys woozy pads that don’t carry melody so much as quiver and radiate heat. It’s a deft trick he also pulled on his Steinhoff & Hammouda remix this summer, locking the track into an entranced, undulating sway that’s, yes, static, but also enormously seductive.

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