Wax, No. 20002


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When Marcel Dettmann casually admitted René Pawlowitz was the producer behind the anonymous Equalized label (and the subsequent transformation of Shed’s Myspace account into Waxalized), more than a few lingering suspicions were confirmed. In retrospect, the rhythmic complexity and painstakingly crafted timbres of these stamped white labels share palpable kinship with Pawlowitz’s Shed and STP tracks — a degree of production prowess uncommon in the majority of releases being cranked out breakneck speeds. Shorn of identity intrigue, the second Wax single, No. 20002, offers further testament to the acuity of Pawlowitz’s musical vision.

While a certain artistic restlessness has him programming breakbeats on one track and cascading 4×4 rhythms for the next, Pawlowitz has also proven comfortable meditating on certain themes across monikers and releases. He revised the incisive chatter nibbling through the A-side of Wax “10001” on “Equalized #002″‘s “A,” filing down the toothy progressions and affording spaced out resonance to its bite. This A-side motif returns in its most relentless form on “20002,” its lunging, three note attack taking on a static role around which Pawlowitz shapes percussive details. Yet for all of “A”‘s clear-cut functionality (which will no doubt attract its fair share of DJs), many will be tempted to flip to the dazzling B-side from the start. It’s hardly the first time Pawlowitz has stashed the tastiest bits on side B (see both Equalized 12″s), that of “No. 20002” easily ranks among his best and housiest.

Banged out piano chords chase hopeful, harmonizing string stabs like a cat and mouse game, all the while splashed by the frothy edges of reverberating tones. Its melodic grace contrasts with grainy, yet ultimately well calibrated percussion that leaps upon listeners like a suddenly recalled memory. Flickering hi-hats and hushed ride lines usher in a starlit swing rhythm; cracking snare hits are disguised as air rushing through rusty pipes; and bulky bass tones shift ever so slightly, so as not to disturb the delicate balance. Sensual in its outward simplicity and evocative of the Main Street Records aesthetic, side B encapsulates so much of what I admire about René Pawlowitz’s artistic approach. The wait for his next communique will be made more manageable by leaving this platter on my turntable.

Jordan Rothlein  on September 1, 2009 at 10:25 AM

LWE presents White Label Tuesday, ha! This record is 100% awesome.

kuri  on September 1, 2009 at 12:01 PM

Main Street comparison is appropos. That “snare…air” and that hollowed out beat propulsion is what gives it that Shed identity though.

G  on September 1, 2009 at 5:49 PM

this review brought a tear to my eye

Andrew  on September 1, 2009 at 5:53 PM

steve, you’ve outdone yourself here. remarkable review.

chris miller  on September 1, 2009 at 7:57 PM

beautiful record. shed has outdone himself once again.

harpomarx42  on September 1, 2009 at 8:31 PM

It’s 1995 all over again…

barry  on September 2, 2009 at 7:56 AM



erm….it is good but it sounds like the two of these just given a little twist after being mashed together.

littlewhiteearbuds  on September 2, 2009 at 8:27 AM

I’m going to have to disagree with you, Barry. I don’t hear it anywhere in either of those tracks.

I would, however, be interested in hearing tracks from 1995 that harpomarx42 recalls fondly while hearing this tune.

barry  on September 2, 2009 at 9:32 AM

the chords in the chez damier track at 1.15?

and maybe its just the flanger sound on the drums in the kenny larkin but ti me they sound pretty identical to the shed track.


and besides… « the shituationist institute  on September 4, 2009 at 11:54 PM

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