M16: Agenzia 13

New “minimal” material from Italian label Persistencebit, this time a dynamic three-track12-inch by M16 (real name Bologna-based Alessandro Bocci). Arriving two years after his Archive Sessions volume 1 EP, the second M16 release by the one-time member of Starfuckers and Sinistri pairs the A-side's title cut with remixes of “Q.S” by Baffella (Gianluca Ghini) and Mikael Stavostrand.

Side one's clubby tech-house colossus “Agenzia 13” begins with clattering pings ricocheting over a deeply throbbing percussive base before an equally throbbing kick drum lodges itself into position. Added layers of heavy bass rumble and skipping hi-hats intensify the attack in Bocci's seriously tripped-out steamroller. Baffella gives his “Q.S” treatment a swinging house feel while also polishing it to a sleek Detroit sheen with lush silken washes and all manner of seductive synthetic sweetener. Stavostrand's makeover may be more purely techno-oriented but it swings too, especially when gravelly voice burble, snippety hi-hats, and roiling bass lines enter the fray. He strafes the tune with handfuls of off-the-wall noises though never so much that the obsessive focus of the high-velocity pulse dissipates. Frankly, though it's designated as such, labeling the release “minimal techno” hardly makes sense when all three cuts are so contrasting and robust.

September 2008