by Ray Mang feat. Lady Miss Kier
When I caught James Murphy DJing Deee-Lite's "What Is Love?" back in October, I figured he was just dusting off a classic. Now I wonder if he wasn't doing a little advance promo for his label's new 12-inch, whose A-side features that group's songstress, sounding a little harsher than in her 20-year-old heyday. It fits "Bullet Proof," which recapitulates the kind of disco (London producer Ray Mang's specialty) that's often been left out of the genre's recent clubland "revival"—frenetic and punchy (think Musique's "In the Bush") rather than slo-mo and languid, with Kier chanting "I don't want your war" à la the Prince of Dirty Mind. But the B-side is the real draw here. "Look into My Eyes" is the kind of keyboard instrumental Mr. Fingers made into a house staple—simple, becalmed, and growing more unabashedly pretty for each of its nearly eight minutes.
Think current post-dubstep has more in common with IDM than not? London producer/DJ Mosca apparently agrees, and proves it with this 10-minute workout, which begins with chirp-and-flutter over a skanking video-game beat, like something off a decade-old Tigerbeat6 compilation. It folds gradually, about one-quarter of the way through, into a heady, house-inflected groove whose echoing vocal snippets and unwavering bass line make it sound, already, like one of the year's dance-floor anthems.
by Peter Van Hoesen
(Time to Express)
Four tracks of no-nonsense, head-to-the-wind techno from Brussels, this crafty EP bruises at every turn. "Terminal" and "Quartz #1" suck you into the producer's dank sound world especially nicely—the former via a heaving, all-enveloping kick drum, the latter with bass frequencies like speeding on unkempt road. The closest to laid-back this gets is "Strip It, Boost It," which contentedly works its way into an acidic lather even while restraining its use of the 303. Basic, sophisticated, charming.
This EP is dark, too, albeit in a slow-creep way rather than a nail-you-to-the-wall one. The downbeats of "Dead Living" seem to arrive whenever they damn well feel like it, while the shuffling, processed hi-hats and undulating keyboards that slither between them beguile and menace in equal measure. The peak is "Sunset Yellow," not much more than an abruptly chopped beat and floating atmosphere for its first half, then slowly erupting into a volley of spooked diva wails.