Motorcitysoul, Solar/Hatohay EP

[Simple Records]

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You’d be forgiven for thinking that Motorcitysoul’s name is a nod in the direction of Detroit, but in actual fact the German duo of Matthias Vogt and C-Rock cite the Opel headquarters in Rüsselsheim, Frankfurt as the inspiration for their moniker. Nevertheless, their productions owe a debt to the cultural house heritage of both Detroit and Chicago, their latest EP, “Solar/Hatohay” being no exception.

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The original mix of “Hatohay” builds nicely with shakers shuffling around nimble congas, the bass line marking out a simple two-note backbone to highlight the introduced chord progression. Without being lackluster it somehow is devoid of a vital ingredient to render it compelling and gets completely overshadowed by both remixes on the EP. Manuel Tur and Dplay change up the percussion, giving it a tribal rub, yet keeping it restrained and moody. The bass is given more direction, while the chief chord melody is forever left hovering over the track like a dark cloud threatening to burst at any moment. An occasional heavy piano adds weight to the atmospheric equation, the whole track reminiscent of Gamat 3000’s “30° Im Schatten” from many moons past. Move D similarly takes a late night approach, bringing layers of chords and ancillary synths to the fore of the mix, enveloping his interpretation with a deep brooding sensuality that will guarantee plenty of closed-eye, rapturous grooving in the clubs. “Solar Basic” toughens up the otherwise housey demeanor of the EP, a dynamic course charted out by a wriggling, worm-like synth as it slithers and curls around a slew of other less than organic sounds. It’s a track possessing real momentum and its artificial sounds contrast well with “Hatohay,” but ultimately this EP belongs to the hired help and their polished gems.

james kartsaklis  on November 25, 2008 at 4:14 PM

2008, or the Year of Move D Saturation, has officially reached critical mass. Save for one track w/ Benjamin Brunn and the Workshop material, his releases this year have been utterly boring. This remix is no different. Being boring isn’t terminal and you could always do a lot worse than wallpaper, but to me there seems to be a total disconnect between the amount of hype he gets and the quality of the material.

hutlock  on November 26, 2008 at 9:21 AM

James, you don’t like the full length with Brunn? I think that’s solid all the way through, though I do agree with you that some of his other releases have been kinda uneventful at the very least. But I think the LP works for sure at least.

This remix? Eh.

littlewhiteearbuds  on November 26, 2008 at 9:35 AM

Personally, I felt Songs From the Beehive was over-inflated by hype. The single was enjoyable, but I didn’t find the rest of it memorable at all — just sort of average. I find a lot of people are quite (and perhaps over) generous when evaluating Move D’s work, dating back as far as Kunststoff. What I haven’t figured out is why he’s the one so many fixate upon.

Will Lynch  on November 26, 2008 at 2:40 PM

A lot of people complain about “hype,” but I discussion of hype far more obnoxious than hype itself. It’s a stupid term that hangs over music criticism like a bad smell, and seems to suggest that if enthusiasm for an artist is too vocal or too widespread, it can’t be legitimate.

The reason so many people fixate on Move D is because they find his music exceptionally good. Is that really so perplexing?

littlewhiteearbuds  on November 26, 2008 at 2:57 PM

What I mean by hype is that so much of the commentary on Songs is so overwhelmingly positive and coming from so many angles/sources that it completely overlooks the album’s faults and builds it into something much more than its modest accomplishments. It also creates an atmosphere which requires a bit of bravery to dissent from popular opinion. I’m not trying to say that because so many people like Move D that he’s actually crap, but rather so many are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt even on some mediocre at best releases, perhaps because of all the fawning coverage he receives. When the techno/house web community largely agrees on something, it becomes a sort of universal truth. That’s hype.

I’m glad for people who enjoy his music. Personally, I have trouble finding as much to enjoy and believe his reputation is perhaps over-sized.

Will Lynch  on November 26, 2008 at 3:14 PM

I agree about song from the beehive– I give it a B. Nonetheless, I don’t think widespread approval of an artist causes people to give him the benefit of the doubt. In fact, i think communities based on niche musical taste often value dissenting opinion, and there is sometimes a weird element of sport in being the first person to see through the hype.

In any case, hype and its subsequent backlash are fundamentally the same thing: opinion about opinion. And in my opinion, opinion about opinion is not nearly as interesting as opinion itself 😉

littlewhiteearbuds  on November 26, 2008 at 3:23 PM

I hear you about opinions. Still, I think that a critic has to take them into account when necessary.

“there is sometimes a weird element of sport in being the first person to see through the hype.”

I agree with you there to a degree, although there have been plenty of times when stepping out from the public line on an album or record (your Sebo K review or any time I positively mention Justice, just to name two examples) has meant being shouted down in chorus. That said, Test’s Brophy loves poking holes in popular artists’ reps and he seems to do quite well for himself (in that regard).

fred  on December 3, 2008 at 7:00 PM

i guess i come from a different camp. i was really unimpressed with songs from the beehive upon first listen but now appreciate it for its (dare i say?) genius and agree with all the hype.

same thing happened with shedding the past for me as well.


Little White Earbuds » Little White Earbuds November Charts  on December 5, 2008 at 8:28 AM

[…] 08. Guy Noir, “Delusion” (Argy’s Big Room Dub) [District of Corruption] 09. Motorcitysoul, “Hatohay” (Manual Tur & Dplay remix) [Simple Music] 10. Alex Under, “Azul Terio Cerebral” [Cmyk […]

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