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DUBTEK003: Reviewed

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The third release from the Dubtek imprint pulls no punches, and cements this labels place in the front of the pack of those pushing fresh UK techno. It’s a solid split EP from two of the most talented producers on the UK underground circuit, Jake Conlon and Hoth System. Jake needs no introduction to the heads, with releases on Decoy, Pareto Park and Dubtek itself, and playing at nights such as the mighty House of God in Birmingham. Hoth System (real name Tony McMurray of Belfast) has also released this year on the respected Forte imprint, and has put out previous EPs on Audioexit and K-49 to name a few. You can check out the artists at their Soundcloud and Band camp pages.

Now lets put the needle on the record and see what we have…

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Jake’s side:

Black Heath Works opens with galloping quicksand a clipped melodic line, adding hats and some clever split second breaks in the kicks to bring the drama. A second melody snakes its way into the consciousness, backed up with swirling, chiming distortion. The first break is long, and adds a touch of euphoria with some light snares elevating the tone, before frantic percussion pulls the listener back down into the groove. The melodies mutate and distort and the overall effect is of being driven through a tremulous sea of electronic sound by that heavy, insistent beat.

Brick House ploughs a deeper furrow, muted notes, always dancing a little out of reach, and cracking, slightly distorted kicks providing the initial action. There are a number of breaks artfully done by ‘lifting’ the entire track, filtering the bottom end out completely for varying lengths of time, and then dropping it down like the back side of a table top. A simple, incisive twin note anchors the middle and latter half of the track, providing a steady metronomic counterpoint to the beats and fizzing bottom end. Superb deepness.

Jake says: Blackheath Works and Brick House were Made over two different sessions but retain a general theme of a life around the Sandwell towns Blackheath & Rowley Regis. High rise flats and council estates chiseled into hillsides form a border to the Black Country. The forges and factories with their furnaces once grinded out industry. No jobs. Just a sea of red brick.

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Hoth System’s side:

Motion Detector sets the pace high with layered kick/bass combination and chattering, militaristic snares. A clipped static burst slowly develops from a single note into an industrialised tribal melody, wickedly danceable (if you can keep up that is), backed up and fleshed out by echoing percussion and more frantic hats. Short breaks and drops, and variants on the hit keep the track charging along. The energy doesn’t drop for second in this one, and you can just hear the bottom end begging to be let loose on a big system.
Within an Inch is home to an absolute beast of a baseline, burbling away with fantastic power at the bottom, and never stopping for the entire track. The kicks pin down the baseline to the absolute millisecond, and if there were no other elements to this tune you would still have a top drawer groove right there. However there is plenty going on at the top too, racing, analogue sounding clips sounding like 80’s electronic drum hits fed acid and a hefty dose of speed, and the clarity in these sounds is amazing, they really draw the listener in and fill the head. Big, end of night tune alert!

You will be able to preorder this release either via the distributer and the usual online shops or via www.dubtekvinyl.co.uk.

The release date – 2nd September, but before that get down to the amazing Wire in Leeds (which has got to be a contender for the best small club in the UK?) and join in the fun at the 7 hour launch party on 27 August – both of the artists from this EP are playing and tickets available from
http://www.ticketarena.co.uk/events/Dubtek-Label-Party-at-Wire-Leeds-27-08-16/index.html

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