The Collectors: Trainer EP
Concrete Plastic

If Trainer's sound is reminiscent of Ai Records, the likeness is understandable: The Collectors is a nom de plume of Iain Law who issued the Yunx disc In the Heat of the Night last year on Ai. A solidly integrated fusion of electro, acid, house, and artificial intelligence-era IDM, the half-hour EP is also the maiden outing from Concrete Plastic, a new imprint operated out of Brighton. In contrast to the Yunx disc, Trainer's four tunes gloriously stretch out, rendering them more club tracks than conventional songs.

Each piece shifts the stylistic focus ever so slightly without comprising the consistency of the EP's overall sound. Immediately setting the bar high, opener “Air Max” churns furiously for eight beatific minutes by pairing an acidy bottom end with soaring string washes. “Waffle” is filthier by comparison, a dirty little pumper of swizzling electro house. If “Stan Smith” isn't named after some outrageously flashy drummer, it should be, so prominently does it position its frenetic soloist at its equally aggressive acid-soul center. Capping the disc, the deep, Detroit-tinged house of “Shell Toe” grooves wickedly though finds room for a brief breakdown before pumping even more furiously towards its crystalline close. Seamlessly merging electro and house, chattering synth patterns cycle with machine-like precision and beats slam while syncopated chords echo and ricochet overhead—a superb finish to an equally impressive label debut.

June 2006