Jon McMillion: Inner Floor

Seattle's Jon McMillion sculpts his own particular brand of Unclassified Computer Funk on the 12-inch vinyl debut Inner Floor, the second in Orac's 'Black and White' series. Dance music it is, at least nominally, but pushed to such an abstract degree it's almost silly to label it as such. The four cuts here are more like lab experiments, what a conventional electronic dance track might sound like after being shattered into fragments and its innards radically modified before re-assembly; the tunes aren't conventionally melodic but instead highlight strands of microscopic fragments that cohere into cumulating clusters. McMillion drapes rich, shape-shifting fields of steely machine noise over buoyant pulses of skeletal beats and grooving bass lines, his cyborg material appearing to retain a mere fading memory of its minimal techno roots.

In the title cut, McMillion builds crisp, grooving pulses of pinprick microfunk from tiny ripples, crackles, whirrs, and static while angular tendrils of guitar and wiry flutter slither over a bumping, bass-driven jack in “Make it Worms.” By the time syllabic fragments, rumbling tones, and clatter repeatedly dart over the surface of the seasick “Duke of Earl,” it's obvious that McMillion's music is definitely 'new,' a colder and hazier techno mutation rising from the ashes of its more straightforward ancestors.

May 2006