Review: Raw M.T – Planet G (Unrelated Records)

This link up between French label Unrelated and Italian producer Raw M.T seems to have been on the edge of a release for what feels an eternity. With both sides having delivered special material in the past it always looked like a tasty marriage, especially when you consider their similar taste in the more frazzled end of the spectrum. Unrelated’s sole release before this was last years Rawer South Side 12″ by Early Sounds alumnus Leskin. It was a crumpled and funky record backed with a warped, breakbeat heavy Greg Beato remix that was very nearly the most bonkers and interesting thing I heard last year. Raw M.T will probably be most familiar to some of you for his La Duna 12″ on Lobster Theremin sub label, Mörk, and perhaps somewhat less obviously for his one track Record Store Day release (again for Lobster) under his Richard Harrow guise – and if you can still find a copy of that buy it on sight; it’s one of the most twisted acid bangers you’ll probably hear for a long time to come.

Planet G is a continuation of the sound Raw M.T has been building since his 2013 début release on Ukrainian label Wicked Bass. Ostensibly fitting into that large contemporary niche which is usually defined by adjectives such as ‘analogue’ and ‘deep’, Raw M.T has nevertheless managed to keep a step ahead and avoided most of the scene’s inherent clichés. Where too many of his peers have become willing to swap invention for simply roughing up their sounds with a bit of tape based fuzz and lazy touches and progressions, Raw M.T has combined a subtle musicality and an ear for moody melody with the drive of old school-house and techno, creating a hybrid sound that remains distinct.

Of the three tracks here, the first is the perfect embodiment of this sound. A hefty, low slung stomp that owes as much to Phuture’s tight yet cavernous rhythms as it does to anything hailing from todays ‘dusty house’ gang, it allows a shadowy acid vibe to chirp out a trancey and cosmic motif which pushes it towards the delicate synthwork and the spectral melody. Although there are elements which are suggestive of a couple of other acts – NGLY and Person Of Interest from the L.I.E.S stable come to mind – the usual gutter-funk leanings are replaced by a more rugged and even tribal feel. The second track is a more laid back affair – drifting pads and some great percussion ply more dreamlike, hazy business before the shunt of the gravelly bass and understated stabs lock into a cold groove that holds on tight. If anything, it has even more drive, despite barely nudging into high gear.

German producer Florian Kupfer provides remix duties on the second tune, and it’s a pretty good choice. Kupfer has that rare distinction of being a scene poster boy who creates music every bit as good as the talking heads claim. He is, of course, a bit of a kindred spirit here, and that shows in his mix, which takes the laidback fizz of the original and morphs it into a sleek and trippy broadside that works hard to drag the beauty down into the mud. It’s a fallen angel of a tune, reinventing itself as a creature of dread. You probably all know how I feel about unnecessary remixes but this one does the job and then some. It’s almost worth it on its own. It’s great, then, that the two purely Raw M.T tracks match Kupfer every inch of the way, and entirely on their own terms. Another classy record from a real emerging talent.

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