Mako: A Break From Ritual / What A Little Moonlight Can Do
Warm Communications

Mako's latest two-tracker on Warm Communications presents about a strong an argument on behalf of Stephen Redmore's skills as could be imagined. The Bristol, UK-based producer and Utopia Music head packs so much heat into the single's ten minutes it's amazing. Grounded in a pulverizing, snare-and-kick drum two-step pattern, “A Break From Ritual” bolts from the gate with a neck-snapping groove powered by clattering amen breaks and alternately oozing jungle fever and Photek worship. In this stunning display, the intensity lets up ever so briefly for a beatless breakdown before the hammering pulse lunges back into position to take the listener out.

No, “What A Little Moonlight Can Do” isn't a Mako cover of the standard beloved by bebop artists and Billie Holiday alike, though it does work a brief nightclub voice sample (“We got something planned here, a little number called ‘What A Little Moonlight Can Do',” says the singer—a pitch-shifted Holiday?—by way of introduction) into its otherwise lockstep rhythms. Slightly slower and less ferocious than “A Break From Ritual,” “What A Little Moonlight Can Do” opts for hypnotic lope and dizzying atmospheric swizzle—dusky, reverb-drenched moves that grant us more of an opportunity to contemplate the artistry involved. They're different tracks alright but equally impressive examples of Mako's talents.

January 2014