These days in techno what’s old is new again, with scores of records echoing sounds fifteen years past. On the one hand, there’s a rebirth of dub techno. On the other, there’s a revival of the intelligent Detroit style. Think Juan Atkins at his most melodic combined with John Beltran and Terrace. (The main labels along this line are AW-Recordings, Down Low, Frantic Flowers and Millions of Moments/Styrax.)
Well here’s Jason Fine on Detroit’s FXHE providing his own take on the “intelligent” style, and it’s one of the best new releases in this vein. From the quiet IDM of “After Glow” to the hynotic pulses of “Conical,” this is one tasty EP. The highlight of side A is certainly “Mood,” with a square bassline a la E.R.P. combined with crisp snares and extended chimes to warm my heart. It doesn’t get much better than this.
On the flip, “Midwest A” provides dynamic percussion with faux backspins and textured blips. It reminds me of Hieroglyphic Being (but less lo-fi). “Low Down Funk” brings back the chunky bass and ethereal chords. Finally, “Midwest B” is upbeat and fabulous. The bass glides while treble synths glisten. Everything is gradually dry-filtered at the end. A fantastic record all-around.