[26 September 2013]
Following on from their Creatures EP, AtomNation, the label co-ran by the hotly tipped Dutch producer Applescal release their latest EP, Lost Time by Russian producer, and the labels newest signing, Koett, ahead of his debut album which is set to be released this November.
Exploring up-beat, instrumental hip hop with an acid jazz mentality, the Russian producer has evidently got his fingers extremely dusty from rummaging around in dirty record crates. Multiple sampled sound sources ranging from upright bass, to swirling James Bond style string motifs, through to morose piano figures and flying flute lines are all mashed together in a melting pot, stirred up and served up with liberal dashings of funky flavor and jazzy refrains.
“Lost Time”, an animate, unruly offshoot of electronic jazz-fusion, oozes the class and style once associated with the music released by Gilles Peterson and Eddie Piller’s lauded Acid Jazz imprint—a brand and label that arose from Britain’s “Rare Groove” scene at the end of the ‘70s, operating out of East London in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, releasing upon the world artists such as; the always excellent Galliano, the heavy funk of the Brand New Heavies, the James Taylor fronted New Jersey Kings and the Hammond orientated Mother Earth. Like said imprint, and the artists associated with it, Koett deftly combines elements of jazz-funk with electronic dance music in the process creating a unique sounding, fresh yet referential record for the rare-beat class of 2013.
First up on remix duties is fellow countryman, the St. Petersberg based Monokle,a man who has been releasing his own unique brand of downtempo music since 2006. He strips the original tune back, focusing more on mechanic repetition than the organic free-flowing structure present in the original, adding a subdued 4x4 pulse to his morose harmonic bed, creating a chilled out post-club number that at points references some of the work emanating from Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder camp, which is by no means a bad thing.
Last up is Barcelona producer Sau Poler, who like Monokle, utilizes a more club ready 4x4 drum track combined with an organic, fuzzy electric bass line, tape saturated strings and little flourishes of sound that reside in the background, allowing the producer to fashion an immersive, hypnotic world for the listener to revel in. His combination of biological samples with retro sounding synth sounds is extremely unique, imbuing his tracks with a nostalgic, druggy feel and energy despite the apparent simplicity of his tunes, utilizing repetition and minimalism extremely well, without it ever coming across as naive or without purpose—defiantly a producer to keep your eyes on!
All in all AtomNation continue on their quest to bring intelligent, arty electronica to the masses. With a stellar roster helmed by one of techno’s brightest prospects the label is slowly making major inroads into the music scenes collective consciousness by appealing to multiple demographics at the same time whilst, at the same time, retaining a cogent sound that is definitely their own. I always look forward to the labels releases and am always pleasantly surprised by the talent and range of styles they offer whilst still remaining true to the dancefloor. I cant wait for Koett’s album to come out, bring on November!
Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/koett-lost-time/