Lee Holman: Travelling

Spurred by a relentlessly surging attack, Lee Holman's Travelling EP is, at the very least, well-titled. The Irish producer's four-track outing on the Gent, Belgium Mowar label features pulsating techno-funk dressed up with chiming synth melodies, handclaps, and frenzied rhythms and decided Motor City and Chicago influences rising to the surface throughout its twenty-five minutes. Holman's wiry synth melodies incessantly circle in on themselves like a Worm Ouroboros while his house-inflected beat patterns exude a perpetual forward thrust.

Opener “Depart” sounds a bit too much like “Heater” for its own good—strip away the accordion and you're left with Samim's banging pulse and frenzied build-ups—but the wailing “Arrival” more than rights that wrong with its feverish swing and tasty funk slam. At the six-minute mark, the intensity level's so high the tune sounds set to explode but Holman holds it together for the duration. Cooling the pace ever so slightly without losing the funk factor, “Return” brings the EP home with an elastic, neck-snapping rhythm and spacey electronic accoutrements. Travelling is hardly genre-defying but nevertheless a solid offering of deep dance-floor artistry.

November 2008