Dirty Culture: Contract

Little Fritter: Wizard With A Piece Of Timb

Based in Germany and launched in 2008, Joachim Spieth's Affin imprint specializes in all manner of dance styles—tech-house, deep house, and minimal techno, among them. One of the label's goals is to issue music that's not just club-ready but oozes personality too. The nifty two-tracker by Dirty Culture (Romania-based Tudor-Radu Barbu) certainly makes good on that promise. The title cut serves up six minutes of jacking tech-house, all shuffling beats, thumping bass pulses, and fragmented vocal grunts, with Barbu (a producer since 2005) tidily winding the low rider's drop-outs and build-ups into a sleek and slinky package. A slightly more pure exercise in house than “Contract,” “Inceput” works a shuffling gait and pumping groove into a controlled frenzy while also upping the tune's funk ante in the process. What's even nicer about the second cut is that Barbu banishes the beats altogether halfway through to let a sweet little keyboard theme shine through before revving the tune up for a swinging and high-spirited ride home.

Little Fritter (Gold Coast, Australia-based producer Kane Dignum) brings a slightly more exotic vibe to his own Affin outing, Wizard With a Piece of Timb, with each of the three tracks markedly different in character from the other two. The title cut gets things moving splendidly with a tight, bumping house groove dressed up with a chunky funk bass line, crisp hi-hats, and occasional sprinkles of radio DJ blather. “Googy Banter” offers up a stripped-down, almost African-tinged minimal groove that grows even more tribal when the rumble of bass toms is added to its jungle chants and animal hoots (though the track would be more palatable sans the boorish spoken section that intrudes repeatedly). The arguable pick of the litter, “Fall Into the Middle” pulls down the shades for seven choice minutes of jazzy swing and velvety atmosphere, with vibes and watery chords draping themselves cozily across an ever-percolating pulse.

July 2010