Julien Aubert: Paint Club EP

Starting Teeth: The Way of the Intercepting Fist

Its EP title inspired by a Bruce Lee movie, Starting Teeth's The Way of the Intercepting Fist features two new crackpot tracks and three remixes by Hrdvsion, Dave Aju, and Vincent Oliver, with the latter two re-edits of songs on Starting Teeth's I Won't Do Anything I Can Do album. Heady in the extreme, wack-job opener “Weapons” pairs the mangled, bad-ass flow of Oakland-based rapper K.Flay and off-kilter melodic tinkles over a slo-mo head-nod base; the madcap future-hop fireball “Venom” comes next, with arcade noises squiggling like drowning electro-flies while squelched rhythms hammer with tripped-out aplomb. In his treatment, Canadian-born and now Berlin resident Hrdvsion streamlines “Weapons” with electro bounce, San Franciscoan Dave Aju gives “Burn the Roof Tropical” a clubby hiccup that's dizzying, and Londoner Vincent Oliver turns “xxDone” into a techno flame-thrower. Though all of the EP material holds up well enough, the originals come across as the essentials and the remixes the bonuses.

The Creaked coming-out by Swiss tech-house producer Julien Aubert features three “Paint Club” variations with the original joined by makeovers by Zurich-based producer Knor and Ghostly artist Lusine. Aubert slathers the cut's nine-minute house chug with a plethora of metallic micro-sound flourishes and eruptive punctuations, so much in fact it's easy to have one's attention distracted away from the elusive theme burbling at the track's center. It's the cut's rhythming that's the strongest element, however, as Aubert relentlessly twists the tune's 4/4 stomp into all manner of cubistic configurations. Knor's “Synesthetic” remix hits hard with a snare's repeated thwack the anchor for the swinging hi-hats, claps, and funky melodic fragments that circle around one another. Anyone familiar with Lusine's work won't be amazed to learn that his version trumps the others. Bringing his customary finesse to the project, Jeff McIlwain transforms the tune from a clubby house number into a slow-funk hip-hop-inflected burner crowned by layers of synthetic atmosphere.

August 2009