Aubrey: Dark

Mowar comes out swinging with its fifth release, a three-tracker from Aubrey (an experienced hand who's been DJing since 1983 and has issued over seventy EPs for labels such as Intech, Sublime, Reel, Crayon, Ferox, and others) titled Dark. In actuality, the release includes a sole original along with remixes of same by Modern Love outfit Pendle Coven (Miles Whittaker and Gary Howell) and Geophone's Mike Parker, but the versions are sufficiently unlike that the EP plays like three originals. Funnily enough, Aubrey's bomb originally was released as an untitled track on his defunct label Dark (hence the track title) and now breathes again thanks to the Belgium imprint Mowar.

Aubrey's “Dark” original is a Molotov cocktail of dubbed-out chordal lashes and powerhouse beats. Think eight feverish minutes of Basic Channel-styled ambient dub jacked up with stampeding thrust and you're on the right track. Remain seated when Pendle Coven's version rolls in with razor-sharp hi-hats and rumbling sub-bass in an epic treatment that's as relentless as the most towering Monolake track you've ever heard. The industrial throb ante is upped so much the version grows psychotropic, and its synthetic foliage grows so dense one is nearly engulfed by it. Parker reduces the original to a techno skeleton of galloping rhythms and insistent synaptic firings—artful certainly if less captivating than the other two, but how could it be otherwise when the others are such mind-benders?

February 2010