Paul Woolford & Psycatron, Stolen

[Hotflush Recordings]

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Between them, Paul Woolford and Psycatron have released grandiose house and techno on such storied labels as Planet E, Bedrock, and Tresor. It is fitting, then, that their Hotflush-released first collaboration is a nuanced and majestic piece well suited to long, autumnal nights. “Stolen” begins with UK funky-style claps and bare-bones percussion before unfurling into a dub techno workout, replete with Maurizio style stabs and well-placed vocal elements. A relatively busy piece, the track builds over the course of nine minutes, taking in elements of steely acid bass and melodic atmospherics, alongside a jittery percussive drive.

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“Stolen” only truly drops into place at the onset of the bass at around four minutes, which ushers in a familiar LFO-style hands-in-the-air aesthetic. It is worth noting, however, that some may find the trancey build irritating. It’s also debatable how well the harshly acidic bass line fits with the more meditative atmospheric of the overall track. That said, this is accomplished stuff that’s crying out to be worked on high-end systems, and will undoubtedly provide opportunity for DJs to get creative with lengthy mixes. The dub version on the flip does away with the acid bass altogether, providing a beefy big-room flavor where each element sits beautifully in its space. While modern day dub techno can feel staid and overly nostalgic, this is a surprisingly urgent track with a truly thunderous Berghain-style kick sitting squarely in the center. Eschewing the more theatrical movement of the A-side, the hypnotic groove pummels along for a good six minutes as a nigh on perfectly engineered peaktime DJ tool.

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