The fourth installment in Spatial’s sturdy 10" series sees yet more of those spannered beats and old-skool rave charms delivered in that lean style the man has made his own. ‘100402’ rides a crafty organ refrain while everything fits and starts around it. ‘100319’ has a much more direct 2-step bump to it, rocking a 90s style synth arsenal for maximum party effect.
Fourth outing from the highly-reputed Spatial, and at this point in proceedings the man’s work should need no further introduction to the many listeners already up on his sound … and yet, these fresh productions – ‘100402’ and ‘100319’ – mark something of a departure from the so-called “future garage” tag with which he has frequently been associated in the media.
Both tracks drill down hard on a muscular programmed machine-funk style, combining elements of bass, electro, old school house and a touch of crude grime to create a pair of mutant club cuts designed to make the dancefloor work hard. Undoubtedly the most direct music released yet under the Spatial trademark, this is sure to satisfy and surprise his growing following in equal measure, while at the same time encour- aging plenty of new heads to tune in to the progressive Infrasonics signal.
In his own words; “I find my most satisfying tracks always come from more improvised arrangements rather than intensive editing of arrangements. Hearing other peoples stuff that’s been edited to f**k definitely works but I just don’t wanna work like that myself. A lot of the early acid tracks were almost mistakes with a 303 running. I like that idea. These tracks are clearly a lot less minimal than the early material and the energy and choppiness comes from DJing out more again – that process really fed into these tracks. It’s not just about being more functional, it’s about a reconnection with a vibe that I’d ig- nored for a while. I think any muso goes off on tangents. Took me a while to realise the worth of dance stuff again despite it’s functionality.”
Alongside the normal free extra Creative Commons track available online to accompany this EP, there will also be further experimental musical content which will only be accessible from a unique weblink triggered by holding an artwork insert up to a webcam.
Early endorsements from Peverelist, Geiom, Falty DL, T++, Hemlock crew, Hyetal, Dave Q, and Grevious Angel.
While his Infrasonics label has been busy turning out solid goodies from Ike Release, Hot City and XXXY, Spatial’s own productions have been scarce in 2010. His fourth release on the label adds some lean but juicy flesh to the bones of his future garage blueprints while factoring in a more feminine pressure by way of dainty 2-step melodies and diced vocals. The title might not give much away, but get ‘100402’ on the floor and it’s got some serious chops, flaunting super-slick percussive cadences and the cutest melodic wiggle. If that sounds too nice for you, ‘100319’ tightens up with a finely crafted garridge swagger riddim full of tendon-twitching percussion and a hypnotic, heads-down-and-raving lead riff with a flourish of moody synthline energy in the final sections. Very smart trax!
Techno was a decisive element on spatial’s first singles. The sound was cold and clinical, very premeditated, as if an Ostgut Ton record had filtered in with the final mix. In that sense, spatial’s productions found an interesting and very fashionable niche last year, a kind of dubstep where Berlin and London – like Scuba or Sigha – met, but with a cerebral touch that kept it from going straight to the dancefloor. That’s why the fourth release through infrasonics on 10’ changes so much with regards to spatial’s style: the man himself says he stopped thinking so much about the sound and just trusted his instincts. While before there was a lot of speculation, study and endless re-touches, reaching an almost obsessive level of purity, now there is a clear flow that is audible in the rhythm.
For starters, the techno texture has disappeared in favour of funky breaks that have more approximation to future garage than to dubstep-techno, and that’s thanks to a more unpredictable way of organising the rhythms, without so much meditation or censure. They simply come out and find their place in the atmospheric structure, organising themselves into the pattern of each situation: sometimes more house, sometimes breaking like electro, or allowing for cropped voices to enter in micro-second sections in the way Todd Edward would (‘100505’). For spatial, this single is a decisive step forward in his career: he hasn’t betrayed any of his principles (space, texture, mental rather than physical post-dubstep), he keeps on the experimental path, and yet his music has gained flexibility and possibility. What will come from now will only be better.