Trackman – Trackman EP (Infrastructure)
Mark Archer is probably still best known for his work alongside Chris Peat in the chart troubling, face masked and chem suited proto rave/techno outfit Altern8. It’s over twenty years since the two of them parted company but Archer went on to make a proper statement of underground intent with the Trackman EP, now given a proper shined up dose of remastered loving courtesy of Function’s Infrastructure imprint. Heavy on the bleeps n blips and bubbling acid lines, and refining something of the throb of big room acts like 808 State and Orbital, as well as the obviously far more underground influences, the Trackman EP has the curious feel of a love letter to a scene that was already vanishing, and one that was well underway to swapping unity for the fracture of genres where the differences were more important than the common ground. But it is also – most importantly – a record where all the right things are in place, and one where tomorrow is just as clearly heard as yesterday. A genuine classic back and sounding better than ever.
VA – The House of Muzique (Muzique)
The very welcome of reissues of material from the archives of Armando and Steve Poindexter’s brilliant Muzique Recordings continues apace with this repress of 2005’s The House Of Muzique, and it sees the label serving up some prime Chicago jackers and acid tinged mayhem. I know that at this point in time I should probably be renaming the blog to ‘Jamal Moss Fan Pages’ or something, but our man does it again here with a sumptuous and borderline insane mix of Armando and Poindexter’s Blackholes by simple dint of pushing the tune’s psycho-physicality down the nearest rabbit hole and into a freaky wonderland where gravity and rational thought don’t seem to work. Elsewhere the record moves between the deep acid of Saturn V, the clattering uber-grooves of DJ Traxx and the reverse running mayhem of Chris Underwood’s Black Superman. A belter of a history lesson that once again shows exactly how funky, how deep and how deadly things could get in the Chicago underground.
Person Of Interest – LIES 20.5 (LIES)
Although LIES continued to keep their release schedule up to their usual astounding levels in 2014, there was the faintest feeling that some of material wasn’t quite as stellar as it had been previously, and the number of must buys – perhaps mercifully for those worried about their wallet – dropped off to a slightly more sane amount. Even so, the label still managed to belt out three or four bona fide classics over the course of the year, with records from Randomer, Inhalents and NGLY simply smashing it up. What makes this repress so welcome, aside from the fact it’s a slinky, bumpin’ slab of dirty tunes that drags techno, old school raveyness and sleazy mutant house into the mix, is that it was first released as one of LIES occasional Blink-And-Miss-Em white labels that quickly vanished into the big top of Discogs’ money circus. All three tunes are hot but the stand out here is Down For, a concussion blast of future funk that touches on Flashin’ Fowlkes style Detroit and sends it into orbit. Get it now or be ready to pay the clowns.