Various Artists, Secret Weapons EP (Part Three)

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Photo by Ben Moore

[Innervisions]


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Innervisions made its name on records from its closely held family of Âme, Dixon, Henrik Schwarz, Tokyo Black Star et al., so the label’s “Secret Weapons EP” series has acted as its window to the rest of the house and techno world. Combining Dixon’s voracious A&R appetite, the label’s esteemed reputation and a host of overlooked gems, “Secret Weapons” allowed Innervisions to release tracks it believed in without enlarging its roster. Although recent 12″s from Lil’ Tony, Boola and Culoe De Song suggest a softening of this attitude, Innervisions’ taste-making ears prove as sharp as ever for “Secret Weapons EP (Part Three).”

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“Secret Weapons” are not like American Idol tryouts: Rather than launching young producers’ careers, the compilations often collect tracks from perennially overlooked if more established artists, or sometimes their less cultivated monikers. That’s certainly the case for Point G, better known as DJ Gregory, who contributes the blithe “Headache.” Its leaning Rhodes chords smolder as they shift pitches, and synth flourishes curl around listeners like a sea-side breeze to whisk away steam built up by lockstep percussion patterns. Dutch duo Jark Prongo are veterans as well, their 15+ years of experience evident in the execution of “Helios.” The pair engineer an euphoric pressure cooker from off-beat stabs and pliant guitar licks, surging synth lines and battered hi-hats, all before the copious low end punches in near the five minute mark. It’s the kind of high-octane groover you just know Âme beats up nightly. “Chunky Buddha” by Oscar G, another set of experienced hands, rounds out proceedings. The track crackles with nervous energy, and its piercing synth jabs are as unsettling as the bass line is bouncy — perhaps too unsettling. Even the one cut from newcomers Madioko ‘n’ Rafika is repackaged by a Sonar Kollektiv colleague, Kalabrese. At times his remix, which shifts gradually from indigenous timbres and chants to introspective synth noodling, feels contrived. And yet Kalabrese’s new synth parts are its saving grace, providing ear candy in lieu of fresh ideas. Still, “Secret Weapons (Vol.3)” is a worthy addition to the series that finds the old guard stunningly well equipped for contemporary tastes.

sombrerero  on April 13, 2009 at 9:18 AM

new layout looks nice and clean. logo could use some more work though…

keep it up with the good content.

great record btw :)

Samuel b  on April 13, 2009 at 11:12 AM

founky track!
credit is http://www.artwars.net/gallery.html
Ben Moore

kartsaklis  on April 13, 2009 at 11:23 AM

this track, right here… amazing.

Joe H  on April 16, 2009 at 10:49 AM

yeah, this track is awesome.

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