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TRANSMAT

Drummer B brings some fresh Detroit heat to Transmat on "The Diamond Project". Truly epitomizing the sound, grit and atmosphere of his home city, the EP feels deeply in touch with urban culture yet still has that futuristic slant that characterizes electronic music from the Motor City. EP1 is the first of a two EP release and starts with "In Case Y'all Forgot" - which skillfully constructs a taut, bubbly electronic groove onto which Drummer B stitches some brilliantly evocative spoken word snips. "What Dat Jxxy Bout", an appropriately obscene ghetto-tech track about rollin' a blunt is gloriously technofied through a serpentine synthline and machine code hats. "Again" shows the other side of Detroit soul with an extended spoken word performance by Jessica Care Moore. "Diamond," beautifully toys with the half time rhythmic structure, nodding its head to Chicago's footwork scene, or indeed, Detroit's 'Jit' movement. Center leaf artwork by Haqq of Third Earth Visuals. A mesmerizing and wonderful addition to the Transmat label.

STAFF COMMENTS

Matt says: Straight into ma box this one... Nothing like some brand new cutting edge Detroit shit; and this my friends, is the business.

Breakthrough release for young South African artist Mbulelo. The EP contains 4 fresh cuts merging techno with African coded rhythms. 'Origins' is a hypnotic trance-like percussive centred with beats and rhythms reminiscent of Femi Kuti, but without being too organic.
'Robotic People' seems to be the track people are talking about and calling it a banger. It is darker than 'Origins', edging on techno but not quite there. It can be a bit dense and claustrophobic at times but not in a bad way. 

On B Side we are greeted with melody, which is going to be the narrative on both 'Orchestration' and 'Panacea'. B1 makes heavy use of the 808 and beautiful melodies, all of it underpinned by a broken techno beat that manages to be solid yet warm and inviting. Closing ceremonies, is my favourite, the banger. It is actually not a banger, it is almost like a homage to Henrik Scwharz. Beautiful melodies, xylophone-like instruments looped and telling you a story. It is a pleasant, calm, warm and soothing way to end thiese very good 4 tracker by Mbulelo on legendary label Transmat. Heavily recommended summer vibes. 

STAFF COMMENTS

Sil says: High quality 4-tracker by new kid on the block Mbulelo. South African percussion heavily filtered though the machines riding along soothing melodies. Not bad at all.

What can be said about this record? One of those bona fide classics of which everyone has a story. Whether it was the first time you ever heard it, blaring across the soundsystem at the Hacienda, or whether you caught on board second time round, necking your first gary's as it pounded out of the speaker stacks at Sankeys Soap. It did, as anthems do, suffer from overkill around 2006, with nearly everyone caning it as a no brainer, end of night banger. Ten years later and it's actually been a refreshingly long time since I've heard it played out. My personal favourite experience of hearing this record was at a 'Hacienda Classics' night at Sankeys around 2002 / 2003. Eighteenth birthday vibes, out with two long term best friends of whom we hadn't, up till that point, REALLY opened up to one another. Under the spell of flashing lights, strong ecstasy and THIS record we confessed our unfailing love, respect and admiration for each other. We danced, cried and hugged for what seemed like an eternity. We are still friends to this very day. Sankey's has now been sold but the spirit lives on through dimly lit warehouses scattered within our city.
Two original versions as they appeared on the original pressing in 1987 backed with the ultimate flanger track "Kaos (Juice Bar Mix)" on the B-side. Long out of print... now back on Transmat Classics! Grade A dance music historical artifact. 


The 1988 follow-up to "Strings Of Life", a timeless piece of Detroit techno that complemented Chicago's house sound with a robotic production line like perfection. As well as the amazing "It Is What It Is", the 12" also gives the first version of "Beyond The Dance", yet another classic moment from Derrick May's canon.

FORMAT INFORMATION

12" Info: Official and limited Transmat repressing.

In 1989, Derrick May revisted "Beyond The Dance" a track he had originally created a year earlier on the "It Is What It Is" 12". The 'Cult' version uses an epic, drawn out introduction of sting stabs and syncopated electronics to heighten the senses, before the kick drum comes in about two thirds of the way in. The alternative 'Blizzard' mix is more immediate, with whooshing effects to boot and "Sinister" is a suitably cool techno joint.

FORMAT INFORMATION

12" Info: Official and limited Transmat repressing.

Classic 1990 Detroit music from Derrick May, the innovator at the height of his powers. "The Beginning" is a true piece of genius, pretty much the precursor to the sound that Underground Resistance have since made their own. "Drama" influenced a thousand producers to make their own music and the incredible latin touches of "Salsa Life" confirmed co-producer Carl Craig as the leader of the new school.

FORMAT INFORMATION

12" Info: Official Transmat repress.


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