Deepchord: Vantage Isle Sessions
Echospace [Detroit]

Intrusion: Intrusion / Reflection

Intrusion Reflection is a stunning double-disc set, and not just because of its fabulous mixed-coloured vinyl presentation (worth the purchase price alone). When the massive bass drum kicks into gear in the pile-driving opener “Intrusion Dub,” fans of oceanic dub-techno will feel like they've died and gone to heaven. Intrusion overseers Rod Modell (aka Deepchord) and Steven Hitchell (aka Soultek) merge the legendary sounds of Berlin's Basic Channel and Chain Reaction with the aerodynamic sheen of Detroit techno while also honouring the innovative spirit of King Tubby, and the results are glorious. Follow Modell and Hitchell as they assume their cv313 guise for side two's seriously grooving “Intrusion” remix, stoke a furious pulse in side three's “Intrusion (Phase90 Reshape),” and bring the funk to splintering shards of metallic chords on side four's “Reflection I”; the duo mercifully lets the machinery cool down for “Reflection II,” a beatless coda where freezing winds blow over echoing chords. One of the best moments occurs on side three when the hi-hats' move into double-time brings with it massive thrust, but it's merely one moment of many. Apparently the original recordings were produced in Detroit between 1993-98 and eventually re-shaped in 2008 but years hardly matter when the sound—a cavernously deep mix of hi-hats, throbbing kick drums, and clangorous chords that lash out like rattlesnakes—is so timeless.

Deepchord's Vantage Isle Sessions (mixed by Hitchell; produced and composed by Modell) serves up eighty equally glorious minutes of similarly-styled material. In fact, the release consists of thirteen variations of “Vantage Isle,” with Modell and Hitchell donning various guises (cv313, Deepchord, Echospace, Spacecho) to twist the tune into multiple shapes, plus there's a guest remix courtesy of Gerard Hanson (Convextion). The original itself was produced by Modell for the 2002 Detroit Electronic Music Festival, and was restored from original multi-track reel-to-reel master tapes in 2007. Opening the collection in a slightly mellow mood, “DC Mix I” uses a mid-tempo drum groove and muffled shots as anchors for its aqueous chords. The versions that follow are in some cases as short as three minutes (“Echospace Glacial”) and as long as eleven (“Spacecho Dub II - Extended Mix”) with styles ranging from windswept beatless interludes (“Spacecho Dub”) to majestic workouts (e.g., “Echospace Reshape”) and warm vaporous baths (“Echospace Spatial Dub”). The album scales a magnificent peak in “Spacecho Dub II - Extended Mix” when smeary chords ricochet over a massively deep, bass-heavy pulse, and Hanson's light-speed missile of vaporous propulsion (“Convextion Remix”) is beautiful too. Long may they run.

June 2008