Daso: Meine Idee

Matthew Dear: Don and Sherri

Litwenko: Four Tactics
Detroit Underground

It should surprise no one that, with the initial fire attending Asa Breed's release cooling slightly, Ghostly's issuing a Don and Sherri remix disc that pairs Matthew Dear's version with treatments by M.A.N.D.Y., Hot Chip, and, relatedly, DJ Koze. Bolstered by an indomitably swinging dance pulse, the original's plastic soul grooves ferociously and is nicely crowned with enticing hooks. Get Physical's M.A.N.D.Y. dissects the song and lays out its innards for inspection but loses the taut allure of the original in the process. Much more satisfying is Hot Chip's version which drapes lush vocal harmonies over the original's propulsive rhythms and replaces Dear's vocal with Joe Goddard's, resulting in a dreamy synth-pop overhaul so extremely unlike the original the remake feels more like a cover than a remix (the interpretation is so lovely, one almost excuses the inclusion of an instrumental version that, aside from an injection of house treatments, is largely superfluous). Heading down a different path altogether, DJ Koze gives “Elementary Lovers,” Asa Breed's Dear-Mobius Band collab, a shimmering jitterbug-techno overhaul that's an audacious spin on the original.

Ghostly's sister label Spectral Sound wheels out its latest addition, Cologne-based Daso Franke, and his Meine Idee EP. Though he released his first record only two years ago, Franke's skills are clearly not lacking, if the EP's three tracks are representative of his material. An epic example of trance-techno, the A-side's eight-minute black beauty “Meine” confidently stomps through the neon-lit Berlin nightscape to find itself repeatedly bathed in incandescent synth showers. Less portentous by comparison are the flip's two electro-ravers, “Idee,” which dynamically struts its rubbery swing, and “Deine Schuhe” (‘Your Shoes'), which opts for dizzying, disco-slam.

Judging by Four Tactics' song titles, Litwinenko (aka Preed) must have been an NHL player in another lifetime. On this first solo artist EP from Detroit Underground, the Berlin-based producer does pirouettes all over the ice surface, from the squiggly acid of “One Timer” to the jittery stop-start and slippery breaks of “Faceoff.” Stand clear of the combative techno-funk that splits the defence during “Tripping, Roughing, Holding” and scores in “Special Dump'n'Chase,” a slinky slice of bass-boogie stutter-funk that deserves a replay or two. Give Litwinenko a double-minor penalty for roughing up the EP's material and holding the listener's attention in the process.

November 2007