Sebastian San: Rising Sun
Planet E

Jona: Antiplano
Planet E

A double EP dose of Detroit's finest from Carl Craig's esteemed imprint. Sebastian San's debut 12-inch for Planet E pairs the aerodynamic “Rising Sun” with an amazing Craig edit of same. San begins the eleven-minute title cut with a nimble bass pulse before winding it up with a roller-coaster army of squiggly synthesizers and surging rhythms. Despite the density and intensity, the track never loses its composure and the level of finesse remains high, even when its light-speed attack is at its most ferocious. The buoyant bass pulse persists throughout, providing an anchor for the synthetic cross-talk that chatters back and forth over top. On the flip, Craig retains the synth patterns but boosts the song's throb; everything but the bass pulse and kick drum abruptly drops out three minutes in, after which Craig builds it all back up again just as quickly. No fool, he deploys the same tension-and-release trick a second time before cranking it up for the coda to let the track stampede furiously home. “Rising Sun” indeed.

Following EPs on Get Physical, Altiplano is Jona's (aka Belgium-born Jonathan Troupin) first Planet E release. The 12-inch's fiery title cut is powered by a razor-sharp techno pulse, anchored by an insistent low-slung groove, and besieged by relentless percussive strikes, and Troupin deftly extends the tune into jazzy territory by slathering the groove with the heavily-treated bleat of a trumpet. “Secret 47” swings more than charges, with Jona stoking a slamming house feel more than straight-up techno. Again Troupin opens up his material's sound by using a kalimba for the tune's melodic elements. The track's second half is especially delicious with the groove settling comfortably into position and the tune's irresistible funkiness coming to the fore (the EP's a more-than-satisfying side-trip while Troupin completes his debut album for Get Physical).

July 2008