I first met Dubtek main man Omid Mahmoudi in a sweaty club in Manchester last year and immediately hit it off - this is a man who is in it for the music one hundred percent. Since then, I’ve made it over The Pennines to some of his Dubtek nights where he’s had some of the cream of UK and Euro underground artists heading up his events at various venues. I knew releases were on the cards at some point, so I was delighted one day when a package (not-so mysteriously) entitled Dubtek Vinyl 001 landed with me. I knew it would be special, even more so when I saw the artists involved.
A1. David Meiser - “Epsilon”
The kicks/bass combo has a fantastic sense of urgency - it sounds like it’s speeding up when you concentrate fully on it, but the pace is constant, this gives a great energy to the track. A high, plucked melody chatters away at the top, constantly morphing, echoing, panning, developing twinges of acid and mutating - this is really fantastic musically. A lower mid melody backs this up and the whole track is injected with further drama by hissing hi-hats leading into breakdowns where the melody is chopped and filtered out to nothing, then that bass/kick drops. As solid as it comes.
A2. Kereni - “Mutual Gravitation”
Moving into slightly deeper territory, this number ups the pace and leads you heads down onto the dancefloor. At it’s heart is a pulsing groove of percussive kicks, rolling bass and sub bass flowing like a river. Up top, hissing claps, snicking hi-hats and laser synth stabs provide the drama across a breakdown and introduce the main melody - a jacked up synth line that tears through the next breakdown and filters out to a single note hovering over the huge drums and bass - the moment of the track for me, you realise just how heavy the bottom end is. And it goes from here, picking up the energy and drama through more breakdowns and cleverly applied reverb and filtering. Late night bomb.
B1. Jake Conlon - “Cry of the Necromancer”
The more I hear of Jake’s productions, the more I realise how talented he is. During the intro of cracking, solid kick drums and slowly building bassline, a ghostly yet powerful notes pan around in the background - you just know they are going to develop. They do just that, gaining more weight and penetration and circling the listener with increasing urgency and intensity. Shaker, hi-hats and percussive knocks lead to the breakdown which is frankly monstrous. Aforementioned notes take a grip on your soul and blot everything out until a moment of silence and then a subtle and devastating drop. Superb.
B2. David Meiser - “Epsilon” (Louis Ray Remix)
The original gets a new sheen of menace, a bump in pace and some serious weight behind the kicks. The machine-gun-percussion is in full show here, nicely offset by simple ride cymbals and open hats. The melodic parts develop through a few breaks, always with that threatening note circling in the background like muted jet planes, which are kept to simplistic beeps and an energetic counterpoint rhythm during the main section of the track - this comes out to the fore in the latter half, while those weighty kicks stomp away at your guts and the hissing hi-hat infiltrates your brain.
For me I think the Conlon track just edges it here, but these are all excellent tracks, testament to the skills of the artists and to Omid’s judgement in getting them together on a single release. The artists are all playing at the Label Launch Night on 15 August at Wire in Leeds along with Birmingham’s duo InnerCystem. Kereni performing LIVE is not to be missed and I suggest you get yourself down there. The EP itself is released on heavyweight vinyl and pre-orders are being taken direct from the Dubtek Vinyl online store already. A cracking start for the new label and you can be sure there is more to come!
- Reviewed by Stuart Ingram for deathtechno.com