Operator Tracey / Perseus Traxx, Nothing To Do With Us / Across The North Sea

[Future Flash]

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Having risen to prominence with a number of intriguing, retro-leaning releases on Bunker, M>O>S, and Boe, Nigel Rogers now splits his sound into two entities to move onto another release for his own Future Flash label. Throughout the years of producing, the Englishman’s analog-rich sound has tapped into the legacy of nascent Chicago and Detroit, consistently delivering a fresh twist on percussion patterns and melodic motifs, even as 80s sounds became en vogue. Rogers sticks to his hardware weapons of choice, but when dealing with ideas as sincerely pure and rough as his, a couple of synths, drums, and effects are quite enough, and this pair of unrelenting house jams is proof.

Sprinkled with a particularly outspoken Derrick May clip, Operator Tracey’s acid-house track “Nothing To Do With Us” provides some social commentary — a protest against the banality of the EDM-clogged landscape. Circulating on the web as a free download on SoundCloud (and hitting hard on DJ TLR’s TTT tape last year, as well), it’s gained a popular following, in no small part because May asserts “EDM has nothing to do with what’s happening in Detroit or Chicago or what’s happening with electronic artists around the world.” Yet it’s the flangered derangement of its high-end, the gliding, eerie synths that’s equally memorable, as well as the perfect interplay between the bumpy bass line, commanding woodblocks, and chirruping 303 goodness. “Across The North Sea” by Perseus Traxx functions almost as a time travel, at first sounding like an arpeggiated, heavily retooled Eurodisco which gradually enters a zone of Chicago-styled percussion. From this artful arrangement, it slowly blooms into subaquatic synth swerves and otherworldly reverberation, all gathered in a chamber of barely noticeable polyrhythmic shifts. Although quite different at first glance, both tunes on this release are in essence really two sides of the same coin: constructed not only with archivists’ respect for the past, but (even more importantly) with a innovator’s thrill of enduring sounds and combinations that still move bodies.

rubin  on September 13, 2013 at 7:53 AM

Nigel is a very talented producer with a genuinely unique sound. Not all to my taste but there are some absolute bombs in his back catalogue

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