Various Artists, The Bad Mask EP

[Tabernacle Records]

Buy Vinyl

Glasgow seems like the place to be these days for quality underground music. Rather than constantly seeking new trends, the city settles with refining sounds over time and pushing them to an equally dedicated crowd. Not only is this evident in the artists who reside in Glasgow, but also in the parties. After establishing a long running series of parties within the Scottish city whose music policy changes each time, Slabs of the Tabernacle have started their own imprint with limited, vinyl-only runs.

Remaining true to their keep-it-in-the-family approach, each of the contributing artists have performed at the label’s club nights, and the first release highlights their love for the Detroit sounds. The Third Man opens with “Come Get It,” which, although not quite as considered as his criminally underrated Messier 66 EP, still displays his brooding, yet high energy approach to techno production. The baiting title becomes more pronounced when the focal lead creeps in through the forlorn pads to throw its weight around. Arne Weinberg’s “Binary Mutation” is easily the stand-out among the four. The drum patterns are more stabilized compared with much of his previous output, which is more akin to Convextion’s ERP moniker. However, Arne’s finely honed craft for allowing intricate chirps, claps and other subtleties to dabble and meld with the cheerfully melancholic melody is evident as ever and thus becomes all his own.

The misleadingly titled “Track Five” is a nauseating jacker from John Heckle. Seemingly time-stretched percussion makes for a devastating dance floor affair, and dramatic detuned synths, which almost resemble a classic John Carpenter score, set this firmly aside from the other tracks. The overall tone doesn’t quite share the same soul as the rest of the EP, and thus falls slightly out of place, but will please fans of Crème Organisation’s JAK series. The suitably placed final track, “Placid Haze” by passEnger, is an otherwise uplifting roller with a curiously spasmodic bass line that further emphasizes the primary funk. The Bad Mask EP is a fitting title in how each of the four tracks share an alluring beauty that, in one way or another, is cloaked by an air of menace.

Blaktony  on October 14, 2010 at 9:51 AM

I dig Arne Wienberg’s track (alot)….sounds like he’s been hangin’ out w/AUX.

Pierre-Nicolas  on October 14, 2010 at 11:46 AM

John Heckle gentlemen !!

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