Magda, Troy Pierce and Marc Houle’s occasional label Items and Things makes a welcome return featuring four more superlative grooves from Marc Houle, Kasper, Thrill Cosby and Alexi Delano.
The label was created as an outlet for the weird, experimental and beautiful sounds the trio often come across on their travels and Spies and Lies fits the bill perfectly, containing music that will stimulate, overwhelm and confound in equal measures.
Extreme by Marc Houle is a classic piece of atmospheric, sci fi techno. Relying on a bare minimum of sounds, it generates suspense from the fantastic octave jumping, 6/8 retro synth line at its heart, with some additional morphs and tweaks adding further dynamics to the proceedings. Odd, quirky but with an inherent phatness, Extreme is a standout track!
Oogity Boogity is another experimental groove laced with ominous cello stabs, African flavoured percussion and freaky, messed up vocal overdubs. The oscillating bassline bubbles along as Thrill Cosby navigates a tricky path through this murky, efx laden landscape which is as strange as it is enticing.
Kasper’s, whose recent R U OK remix has established him as one to watch, Turn Tricks On The Side is a more typical late night groover with Stockhausen-esque peripheral fx and a deep, dark pumping bassline. Just as it gets going Kasper suddenly breaks it down and an evil wind ushers in the central hookline like you’ve just opened the door to some haunted dancefloor, you want to run and hide but the infectious beats keep you rooted to the spot.
Last but by no means least, Would You? is a flowing, vocal tinged affair from Alexi Delano. The precision groove, twisted synth lines, intense breakdown and subtle edits all add up to make it a really accomplished peak time floor filler.