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17 STEPS

Hopeworks curator Lo Shea further cements his status as a true innovator of the UK underground with the "Iterations EP" on Dusky’s 17 Steps. Leading the charge, "Iterations" is 8 dark twisted minutes of tripped-out melodic techno that will sweat the walls of warehouses from London to Tokyo - drawing a lineage from The Omen, Atomic Jam and The Orbit through to Berghain, De School and - indeed - Hopeworks itself. On the remix, Stockholm’s Peder Mannerfelt takes it down an industrial rabbit hole of terror-core synths, rave sirens and sonic paranoia. Across rest of EP, Lo Shea flexes his sonic diversity with "Ornithurae" offering an intriguing mix of bruising bass, twitchy layer loaded percussion and sinister soundscapes - somewhere between D&B don Dillinja circa ’96, early Claude Von Stroke, Radioactive Man and fellow Sheffield legend Oris Jay. Dark, soulful and ravey, "Higher" closes things off with a uniquely UK hybrid that traces lines through militant Tresor-heyday techno, vintage Strictly Rhythm diva house and hardcore vibes.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: It was "Ornithurae" that did it for me... although with a Peder Mannerfelt remix included too there's plenty for all members of the tek-freak fam.

Following releases from label heads Dusky and Christian Piers, 17 Steps returns with a label debut from Velvit (Darren White) which offers both forward-thinking club sounds and leftfield sonics. Co-opting the dark, technical style that Darren has long practised as drum & bass legend dBridge, lead track "Be So Cruel" adds a fresh perspective on house and techno forms that instantly stood out from the pack. Blending dark grooves and sinister mechanics with Darren's own soulful vocals, "Be So Cruel" has been heavily anticipated ever since it featured in Dusky's Resident Advisor mix last year. Featuring the vocals of his brother Steve Spacek, "No Excuses" is a stripped soul roller with dense rhythms and mad jazz moments that works as both meditative headphone trip and experimental dancefloor moment. Completing a diverse triple header, "South Of Your Soul" takes things down a futuristic electro vibe with dark sci-fi cinematics battling it out with body-popping beats and Darren's distinctive cyborg soul vocals.


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