Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Jason Brunton - "Mixed Metaphors" (Iridite)

Iridite don't release very much stuff, but a lot of what they do release is very high quality indeed.

"Mixed Metaphors" is one of their most recent, and offers three different versions of the title track. It's an absolute belter of a release.

Jason Brunton's original is a super-deep tough jazzy workout, dominated by hard swinging 909 hats, bouncing snares, and a raking chord that rises and drops in semitones and fourths. As usual with Brunton, there's lots of thought in the track, but whereas with some other tracks this means too many sounds, motifs and ideas, on this one the innovation is restricted to the drum programming and the dominant synth sound (plus one other searing chord that sails in over the top of the track after a couple minutes). This keeping to the less-is-more school without falling in to the endless-loops trap makes it one funky monster that never gets boring, while keeping a solid flow from start to finish. It's got a hint of the better bits of Carl Craig about it, but it has a club-footed toughness that Craig often lacks. For me, this is one of Brunton's best tracks to date - serious and intense techno soul music.

On the flip, there are two remixes offer two contrasting styles. Marco Bernardi comes first, and serves up a version that manages to straddle an invisible line between techno and the crispest of electro styles. Again an artist who I occasionally find has too many ideas all happening at once, here he gets it absolutely right, with robotic vocals, sinister looping chords, a synthetic stringline that is just not-in-tune enough to give the whole thing a loose and dangerous feel, and the hardest of lethal electro backbeats. I'm not particularly partial to electro, but I would play this out in an instant. Killer stuff.

Finally, Iridite stalwart Rei Loci weighs in with his reworking, and it's another absolute beauty. A driving four-on-the-floor beat that starts out sounding clicky, but when you turn it up, you discover it's actually a bruising, crushing monster, with phasing basic channel style chords emerging in a different key to everything else and dislocating the entire feel of the track, a wobbling root-note battering away hidden in the middle of the mix, and lots of work on the normal first and fifth notes fighting against the phasing chords in the dislocated semitone. The drum programming builds and builds as the track progresses and become more and more insistent, and the more it goes on, the more you want to leap to your feet and close your eyes. Heavy and claustrophobic, this is another Rei Loci stunner.

All in, it's a fantastic release, with three contrasting and complimentary techno soul styles, all hugely playable (how often does that happen on a 12" these days?), and all executed near-perfectly. Highly recommended.


ca said...

Nice review...You can download a compilation of rei loci releases for free under a creative commons licence at-



Anonymous said...

ha, I will experiment my thought, your post get me some good ideas, it's really awesome, thanks.

- Murk