Monday 16 February 2015

I found the name of this EP a bit misleading, as K.M.S. refers to where the producer was living (Karl Marx Strasse in Berlin) not to Detroit techno legend Kevin "Master Reese" Saunderson's label KMS.  However, there is definitely the fingerprint of Detroit on this music--finding funk in the machines.  To be clear, this is not a funk EP--but the spirit of funk is evident. 

Diving into the tracks, "Magnet" is not very complicated, but sometimes simplicity is the disguise of genius.  It feels amazing.  Read that again, "It feels amazing."  Not the sound, not the arrangement, not the notes, but that ever-ephemeral element--feel.  The elusive difference between "repetitive" and "hypnotic" has been nailed by Iron Curtis.  That said, there are a few sonic surprises such as the super-syncopated introduction that seems to be fighting itself, yet works. It works in the same way that your body understands funk even when your mind doesn't; like when James Brown's grooves dance around "the one"--but it is never hard to find. Later there's the section where it sounds as though it's gone from a studio recording to an outside location, like we've gone for a smoke in the back-alley.  This is a great way of lifting the mood a bit before the insistent groove gets dropped on you again (which you are happy to receive!)  The take-no-prisoners kick drum says "Dance sucka!" and would make Sir Nose D'voidoffunk shake his rump.  Combined with the organ, piano, pads and perfectly-placed bass notes, this track has "classic" written all over it.

"What Happened Happened" is quite a bit murkier, but no less pleasant.  It's a bit like an after-club meal with friends where you don't remember the details, but the general feeling was good and you know something interesting went on because your friends always bring it up, but can't go into specifics.  The sounds are slightly distorted, the spoken word sample sounds pitched-down and kind of glitchy.  The bass & drum groove is solid and moves you along and the keyboard sounds have a dirty, but not dark vibe to them.  The "Berg Reduktion" of "…Happened" picks the mood up quite a bit.  It's less hazy memories and more cool party groove.  The  distorted and murky samples are still there, but the drums, bass and keys are a lot more upbeat.  Nowhere near as heavy as "Magnet," but well-balanced given the force of the A-side.

This one should work for terrace/lounges, bars and clubs and I think you're doing yourself a disservice if you do NOT buy this.  I expect to hear this one being played for years to come…

Office Recordings (OR04)
Format :  12inch vinyl / Digital
Release: 30.03.2015


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