Vince Watson, Interference EP

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If you read past interviews with Vince Watson, there’s an easily identifiable trend. Time and time again, the Scotsman turns away from being associated with Detroit. “But I’m not from there, I’m from Glasgow,” he says (or words to that effect). To Watson — a man who takes inspiration from many places — it seems an incongruous connection. It’s not, of course. For the past decade or more he’s been releasing music with a heavy debt to the city. His most recent 12″ even sported a remix from Rolando. Can you blame him for wanting to break away, though? While the city itself is still churning out new talent, its prototypical forms of techno have long ceased to be innovative. Just as dubstep’s originators are shedding genre tags to dodge association with the overground, perhaps Watson is wary of his music being labeled derivative — or worse, dismissed out-of-hand in favor of something more cutting-edge. Either outcome would be a grievous injustice; there are few producers who can top Watson’s double-pronged talent: genuine musicality and spotless sound design.

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In “Interference,” an arpeggiated synth line jumps and writhes, imparting a rather tense feeling. It’s like an already-taut wire being alternately yanked from each end. This feel is heightened by siren-like but tasteful sounds (if there is such a thing), which regularly build to cacophonous peaks before fading out long and slow. It’s also better than it sounds on paper. “The Secret” is more jubilant, spread liberally with brightly hued plucks and noodly wind instrumentation. Complex as they may be, these motifs have an energetic, cartwheeling feel that lends them to rhythm as much as anything else — a classic Detroit trope. Less conventionally, Eastern-sounding scales and percussion move slowly into prominence throughout the duration, culminating in a beatless final minute. It’s a gorgeous finale; but if that wasn’t enough, “The Secret” (Melody) offers nearly four minutes of this serene orchestra, sans the original’s beats and impelling plucks. That all three tracks are conceptually plain doesn’t matter. Vince Watson’s music is like a good tailored suit: there’s nothing innovative about its design, but its incredibly refined finish allows it to stand alongside flashier, more avant-garde creations with ease.

kuri  on February 1, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Vince has gone all Berghain on us with “Interference.” I like the melodies of “The Secret,” more interesting direction from the samples I’ve heard.

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TRESOR 244 | Vince Watson | Interference EP - Tresor Berlin  on February 13, 2012 at 1:35 PM

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