MGUN, If You’re Reading This

[Don’t Be Afraid]

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Following an abstract beginning collaborating with Kyle Hall as NSNT PRJCT in 2010, Detroit’s Manuel Gonzales has done well to showcase his own unique signature on a series of recent EPs. Like Hall, Gonzales works in a range of styles but generally comes across as a gritty, modern exponent of his city’s rich dance-music lineage. If You’re Reading This is his second effort for London imprint Don’t Be Afraid, and like its predecessor, The Upstairs Apt. EP, it shows Gonzales’s more accessible side.

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That’s not to suggest that these six tracks are uninteresting, however, just that the autumnal, tape-hiss-saturated vibe he employed on The Near Future only marks about half the tracks. This sound pops up on “Hand Over Fifth,” which sounds like a kind of degraded exotica, and on “Bean Chirp,” where scrappy, overdriven drums are paired with hanging, new-wave-y chords. At risk of coming across like a stuffy conservative, the best tracks here have little to do with the lo-fi techno vogue, and lean more toward the celestial visions of Jeff Mills, Claude Young, and Terrence Dixon. Gonzales’s use of a modulating, marble-like synth arpeggio on “Funnel Vision” is an old trick, but one which still works remarkably well, as these searching radar blips lend it the same svelte fleetness that Mills has made his career off of. “Tritan” is equally powerful, and showcases more absolutely radiant synthwork. It barrels relentlessly forward, and its force is only broken up by jacking snares, which end up pushing it even harder. Throwback or not, these tracks are composed with a futurist focus that places them miles beyond the neanderthal factory-techno hordes.


Little White Earbuds April Charts 2013 | Little White Earbuds  on May 3, 2013 at 11:04 AM

[…] Anderson Remix) [Voodoo Down Records] 03. Elgato, “We Dream Electric” [Elgato] 04. MGUN, “Tritan” [Don't Be Afraid] 05. Vester Koza, “Beauty” [Maslo] 06. Mike Cooper, “Night […]

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