MD, It Ain’t What It Used To Be

[Rush Hour Recordings]

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What is anonymity worth in today’s vinyl market? You would think it would have slipped since the ’90s when UR, Basic Channel and the like carved out a strong identity using the antithetical approach of leaving all in the dark. Yet it seems like the public is still clamoring for a taste of what they do not fully know. This couldn’t be truer if you look at the path so many white labels (Wax, Skudge, Traversable Wormhole, etc.) have taken in recent years. Add another to the list with MD’s It Ain’t What It Used To Be. Released by Rush Hour with artwork by J. T. Stewart aka $tinkworx, one could easily assume that this is a well orchestrated cover up, but ultimately that doesn’t help shed any insight into the release’s provenance.

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While the A-side’s “It Ain’t What It Ain’t” may riff on Rhythim Is Rhythim (“It Is What It Is”) in its title, it is another Detroit mainstay that invites comparison in terms of the music. Ascending synth arpeggios, prismatic strings and rippling 303s set the stage for an uplifting techno whirlwind reminiscent of the style of early Red Planet releases. What’s different is how quickly the track develops, wasting no time in announcing its purpose, to simultaneously raise heartbeats and tug on heartstrings. It may not scream originality in its retro-tinged execution, but the sheer amount of energy packed into four minutes is sure to leave some hairdos singed. “Megalopolitan Soul” heads in an opposite direction, laying down a deep house ditty that stands out from so much of the style’s current output. It works a juicy bass line and a soulful vocal hook to great effect, playing the two off each other before layering in a funky Moog synth line to give it an improvised feel. Loose percussion of crisp claps, riding hi-hats and distantly placed hand drums add to the live feel of the track. What’s most impressive is again the amount of musical elements fit into the space of “Megalopolitan Soul,” as if every square inch requires a necessary detail. Which, if true, then this ghost writer produces a masterstroke leaving no “t” uncrossed or “i” un-dotted.

S_Salazar  on May 27, 2011 at 12:21 AM

can’t get enough of “Megalopolitan Soul”. Don’t know who this is but I have a feeling the producer is from Belgium….. ┬┐Que no?

Blaktony  on May 27, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Had 2 go 2 juno site 2 hear it….Definitly sounds like a UR/Detroit artist had some hand in it. Both cuts worth the money.

Super Public  on May 28, 2011 at 4:51 PM

Smooth as anything. Soul and groove. Love both tracks on this 12″.

hmm  on June 1, 2011 at 8:28 PM

Great record. I’ve got a good idea who this is. Don’t wanna ruin the mystery, but it’s been showing up in SE Michigan record stores in the “local music” bin, right next to that first Night Gallery release (Megalopolitan Soul sounds like it was cut from the same session as My Love Is…), and if my guess is right, MD are initials…

Joseph Hallam  on June 4, 2011 at 8:36 AM

I really like this track thats playing, but not so taken with the other side.

Jim  on June 4, 2011 at 10:30 AM

MD? Surely Mike Dunn?

S_Salazar  on June 20, 2011 at 7:50 PM

Move D????

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