Terrance McDonald, Mind Over Matter

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For many young dance music fans the prospect of exploring more than 20 years of history is both alluring and daunting. With the majority of press coverage going to the latest trends and artists, there’s not much guiding us towards the deeper cuts from years past besides a series of interlinked YouTube accounts. This is what makes the current crush of reissues even more valuable: that someone cared enough to resurrect them from the back of dusty records bins is a stamp of quality. They also provide evidence of musical evolution, showing us how certain sounds developed and continue to inform current productions. I’m not sure how many people have original copies of Terrance McDonald’s Mind Over Matter EP from 1991, but I’m certain Aroy Dee and company have done everyone, not just my young ears, a favor by reintroducing us to this forgotten gem.

“Spaced Out” opens the A-side with crooked synth intervals, plenty of snare hits and an almost harpsichord sounding bass line sitting alongside more proper 303 bass tones. It’s certainly a spacey and out-there tune, but packs in the intensity of the then 16 year old producer’s enthusiasm and energy, as does the jittery A2 cut “Back From Canada.” Flipping the record over reveals two mixes of “Mind Of Matter,” both the stone-cold killers of the package. The original’s shifting, radiating sounds, expertly placed percussion and deft key changes make it a keeper, a highlight in any year. Steve Poindexter’s “New Mix” is new only in name as it first appeared on the original pressing, but the Chicago master regardless remix the tune to offer a slightly tougher take. Even with the glut of reissues out there, Mind Over Matter emerges as one of 2010’s most essential.

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