The first of Hypercolour’s many sub-labels, Glass Table Music is also the most rebellious of the pack — a sporadic and brazen tribute to excess. From the picture-disc vinyl to labels skewering popular logos, all sheathed in sleazy sleeves, it’s not an imprint that’s afraid to take on risk. Glass Table also doubles as a safe space for producers to try out something new: take Jimmy Edgar’s slo-mo house cut “Hush,” or the birth of the Clapz II Dogz collaboration between Catz & Dogz and Soul Clap (admittedly Axel Boman’s volume offered only more tasty cuts from the Swede). With three releases on Hypercolour, Tom Demac seem very much a part of the label family, so it was only a matter of time before he was invited to sit ’round the Glass Table. His Obstructing The Light EP carries on the tradition of confounding as it delivers intriguing house dispatches.
Demac, born Tom MacDonald, has not been a producer to shy away from taking chances with his music. If Discogs is to be believed, his first solo release arrived on the Electronique Audio label he founded; since then his takes on house and techno for Murmur Records, liebe*detail, and others have skewed left of a comfortable center. Even by these standards Obstructing The Light is a departure. It picks up the thread started on his recent Holiday’s Over EP, a collaboration with electronic indie-pop producer/vocalist Silverclub, and weaves it into a full-blown aesthetic. The record leads with “Four Leaves Right,” its exaggerated half-time beat coated in sleepy male vocals à la The Beta Band. At the flick of a switch the tune reveals its true, quicker tempo, bashing away at a shrill female that leads audiences back to the dance floor accompanied by moody synth leads. Don’t be surprised when you hear a few mixes start with this.
Things take another twist with what might as well be a stab at John Roberts’ esoteric sonic territory, as “For The Love Of Grey” bounces doleful piano chords and rubbery doublebass plucks off a concrete dance floor. It’s rather bewitching despite the similarities. Featuring Duncan Edward Jones of Silverclub, the title track shoots for the middle ground between their work, a serviceable, vocal-led track whose retro drum programming serves as the foundation for lackadaisical progressions and a spirited bass line. Given the content and format of the release, Obstructing The Light is either an impressive diversion or the moment when Demac’s new style took shape. Regardless, it’s lovely record to take a chance on.