Stepback Records, new imprint based out of Edinburgh, Scotland, signs Thinktank to its first 12" vinyl adventure; this one mastered and cut by the iconic Radioactive Man, and featuring 3 cuts of synthetic dancefloor madness, including a great Electro Breaks mix.
Comprised of Colvin Cruickshank and Shaleph John O'Neill, Thinktank is an eclectic duo pushing the boundaries of genrefication, and opening horizons that bring in different influences in a very authentic way. The sound in many ways while forward thinking, has a bit of '90s nostalgia feel to it as well. Nothing about this seems trendy, or inspired by the monstruosity that has become mainstream EDM.
Kicking things off, is "Algae Rhythms", a Techno tune inspired a bit by House music, but programmed in a rather quirky and slightly mischevious manner, not really in any way soothing. Frantic, and in your face would better explain it I think. This tune wants to get you moving!
Next up, "W Sludge" comes in Bassy and without taking a break. The bassline seems to flow down into the floor and breathes back into the song in a really cool way...you can really feel it, and the low's are rather silky! Not an easy task in production, where low frequencies are monsters that must be tamed with care. Nice tune!
I have to say that the percussive styles of Thinktank are very rhythmic. Kind of minimal in a sense, but at the same time complex, and really seems to not only be the strength of the duo, but also the focus itself. Very machine-like, as if part of a well oiled machine.
"L'Arhax", a beautiful, yet quirky Electro Breaks tune, concludes the EP reminding me a bit of Octagon Man's material. Synthy, dreamy, as if in the middle of some amazing childhood memory, and filled with complex drumming that almost hints at Tribalism a bit, but not so much that it loses its futuristic aesthetic. My favorite song!
Great new release by new imprint Stepback Records, who delivers a fine 12" release tying together the important influences that House, Techno and Electro have had on each other, with the 3 styles being a primary driving source for the music that comes out of Chicago and Detroit; something that was even more so 30 years ago but still thrives today. Highly recommended, support now by buying a copy!
Reviewed by: Santino Fernandez