Brian James: Micromekanik EP

Malta resident Brian James weighs in with Micromekanik, a vinyl debut for Aesthetik whose minimal tracks are equally smooth and tight. James started out in 1989 at the age of sixteen as one of the first Techno DJs in Malta and, judging by the material on offer here, has skills that are solidly in place.

The opening and closing cuts make the strongest impression, especially when both feature claps so sharp they could break one's neck. “Micromekanik” presents a snappy 4/4 mix of burbling firefly electronics, cymbal showers, and off-beat hi-hats, while the swinging closer “Flambe in Paradise” gives its backbeat skip a particularly funky treatment. In between, “Onda Verde” layers owl-like glimmers and acidy motifs over a throbbing techno-funk strut, and Pheek gives the title tune a makeover that opts for squirrelly enhancements and gently skipping house pulses in place of steaming propulsion.

July 2007