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NOT AN ANIMAL

Some truly wigged out, highly electrified galactic buzz on this new EP from Bodgan. Leading in with the ethereal thrumm of "Parovoznikov," riding a stuttering arpeggio and leaving plenty of room for the punchy drums and fluttering synth touches. Justin Van Der Volgen does a sensitive job of the remix, embellishing the core of the track with delicate chime refrains that add a tenderness to this muscular club jam. "Listopad" is a more mellow affair, but there's no shortage of fuzzy, vintage lead lines to bathe your ears in. Kito Jempere does a more drastic reinterpretation with his version of "Listopad," injecting a little acid and proto house bite into the track. Sounding super fresh this Not An Animal comes eager to please... get involved!

Ess O Ess (aka Chris Stoker and Jamie Blanco) return to Not An Animal to further frolick in the organic house territories the label's made its own. The duo have an uncanny nack for deftly balancing the rockier end of disco with the authenticity of early house, and never more so than on "Secret Place". The original bounces and struts in a pleasingly groove laden hypnotic fashion, while the dub version turns down the guitars and turns up the synthesisers for a more heads-down dance floor excursion. On remix detail Kuniyuki Takahashi makes his 1st appearance on the label with an interpretation which can be best be described as pitched-down balearic-techno, which clicks, clacks and folds upon itself, drowning in waves of reverbed drama-drums at a deceptively low tempo. Angaphora make their NAAR debut with their own wildly stirring remix of the lead track, which evokes the golden era of 80s melodic pop music to bewildering success, laden with digitised emotion, singing ebow guitar, and not a kick drum in site.

Geoff Leopard aka Geoff Kirkwood aka Man Power's Tropical Bastard alias (?!?!?) gets on board the Not An Animal mothership for more of this fine producer's new take on electronic body music. "Tropical Bastard 1" finally sees Kirkwood fully submit to his cinematic leanings, with a panoramic, Italo tinged track that gives rise to a new world optimism through motorized arps and jagged gated drums. Scottish wide-screen synthscape wizzard, Lord Of The Isles provides a wigged-out remix of the track, taking very little raw material before concocting up a Soca-fused molecular alteration which seems to twist timpani melodies into oblivion while a mechanized beat motors on. "Tropical Bastard 2" opens up side B, another mechanized trip into the endless horizon. This time it's delicate, evocative panpipe melodies that accompany us on our ascension, a crystalline blue sky our destination. Frank Butters has the final say, remixing the former into a steady rhythmic exploration which utilizes a rotating arp line, powerful pad swells and fizzy hi-hats for an opiated and heady take on this lush theme. Excellent stuff here from Man Power and friends - recommended! 



Naar continues to show its pedigree for hybrid music with James Hadfield (one half of Lizards) dropping a killer release on the label which straddles the lines between 'techno drive & cinematic pathos' (come again?!) on the track "Buried Answers". Now now now, I thought WE, here at Piccadilly were the kings of new genre tags but 'techno drive & cinematic pathos' is stretching it even by our standards. What culminates quickly through the track's audio signal is an expertly constructed techno-garage hybrid roller which also pays tribute to Kraut's deep repetition and concentric groove. Anyway, ditch the sales notes and have a listen it's ACE! Jamie Blanco takes the track into vintage acid house / warehouse territory, adding a clickity bass drum and drawing out the melodies into a more 4/4-friendly fashion; achieving a moment of post 3AM-smoke cloud bliss that's as much New Order and Severed Heads as it is Marshall Jefferson and Sleazy D. Hadfield returns on B-side cut, "Literate" - another unfathomably well pieced together, mechanized groover that'll keep pitch black warehouses bobbin' and noddin' as well as making the perfect soundtrack to late night car drives. Tiago takes charge for the final furlong as he transforms "Literate" into a tense and eerie, technoid growler - again with the warehouse in mind as he plunges us into pitch black oblivion.

Machete Savane

Manticore - Inc. Jonny Nash / Ian Blevins Remix

Not An Animal keep up the good stuff here with a chugging dancefloor bomb from Machete Savane, the production alias of label co-owner Andy Bainbridge and kindred spirit Saul Richards. Switching into progressive disco mode Andy and Saul channel the cosmic spirit of Harry Thumann for the frankly MASSIVE "Manticore". If you're not up on your mythological creatures, the manticore was Persia's answer to the Egyptian Sphinx, and I guess this tune is Machete Savane's answer to Thumann's "Sphinx". Taking a pulsating mid-tempo and running with it, the duo add throbbing bass, sky-scraping feedback and star-blazing guitar licks, twinkling arps, expansive mallets and all manner of maximal disco shizzle to turn out a contemporary cosmic killer! Play it at -8 and watch the colours bleed! Remix wise, there's a very much 'night and day' choice to be had here, with Johnny Nash (Land Of LIght) providing his trademark blissed-out ambience to a beatless rendition and Ian Blevins taking the original even further into dancefloor territory, upping the tempos and evoking the drive of Paperclip People. Blasters at the ready folks, this is proper space music from the thus-far faultless label. 

STAFF COMMENTS

Patrick says: Machete Savane deliver a mid-tempo chuggathon here, which does it's very best to update the kaleidoscopic magic of German genius Harry Thumann. Coupled with a nebulous ambient version from Johnny Nash, this is one hot spacecraft, kids.

Lizards

Tanni / International Track - Inc. Max Essa Remix

Not An Animal arrive at their third release in the company of Lizards (definitely an animal), a collaborative project from Lee Forster (1/3 Last Waltz) and James Hadfield (the mainstay of the Elizabeth Collective). On the menu are a pair of deep, danceable Balearic house gems garnished with a rich and flavourful remix from esteemed ex pat Max Essa. Taking aim at the epic, anthemic dancefloor stylings of the Japanese underground, "Tanni" takes over the whole of the A-side, leading us on a 9 minute journey through cascading keys, swelling synths and driving percussion. It's a one way ticket to eyes closed, arms aloft euphoria. On the flip "International Track" sees the duo incorporate off beat percussion artifacts, psychedelic synth fx and tropical textures into a floaty trip into Balearic beat ecstasy. Ironically, it falls to the Japanese based Max Essa to take us back to the Med, lending a euro pop lilt to the track, softening the beats and adding delicate 80s digital melodies to keep us dancing til dawn. 


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