Jitterbug: Arcane Theory EP

New music from Uzuri Recordings is always welcome in these parts, so we were more than happy to wrap our ears around this latest three-tracker from one of the label's ‘home grown' artists, UK producer Jitterbug, who previously issued the EPs Raw Winter (2009) and Beaten Trax (2010) on the London-based imprint run by Lakuti. Arcane Theory's a stormer, for sure, with much to recommend it and diversity at the top of the list, given that the three cuts are so dramatically different from one another.

Living up to the promise of its title, the pummeling “Rise of the Machines” hits hard from the get-go with a slamming drum pulse quickly joined by a blazing synth figure, and the energy and activity levels only heat up thereafter. Hi-hats and ride cymbals gradually enter the fray along with additional keyboard patterns, resulting in a controlled frenzy of some six-minute duration. Arriving after that relentless firestorm is “Fallout,” which offers a soothingly deep groove as a welcome come-down after such intensity. Jitterbug works its midtempo strut for all its worth and nicely embellishes it with claps and tasty wah-wah textures before unleashing the B-side's “Nomads,” a hyperactive colossus that digs into its 303 patterns and rich percussive detail for eleven dizzying minutes with admirable zeal. A faint air of Eastern-flavoured exoticism hangs in the air throughout, though the incecessant chatter of hi-hats and proggy synths that eventually takes control absorbs one's attention almost completely. If there's one thing that stands out beyond the contrasts between the EP's tracks, it's how slippery it is stylistically, as simply labeling it house or techno hardly does it justice.

April 2012