Frozen Border are a label I've always paid attention to, if never really made much of an effort to trackdown - I own #4 on vinyl, but never get round to playing it, despite taking it out with me almost every time I play. I recently discovered their offshoot Horizontal Ground via #5, and my god, is it awesome. Plain black vinyl, hand-stamped, limited edition copies of deep minimal techno - all the things that record fetishists go mental for. Interstingly enough, it's all digitally available, but boomkat seem to know even less than we do. Sandwell District, Seldom Felt and Frozen Border have all proven that the formulae still works in this day and age, and it would seem easy to dismiss Horizontal Ground as selling new clothes to the emperor, were #5 not such an utter beast of a 12" - the A-side is a more housey affair, with an off-beat syncopation and a slinky bassline digging in their hooks. After the first breakdown, the chord pattern kicks in good and proper, and it all goes euphoric. Unsurprisingly, the B-side is a dubbier number, with the chord pattern at the forefront of the mix and dirty great sub groaning away in the background - subtle filter sweeps and wobbling delay are neither big nor clever, but it sure as hell hits the spot. Having tracked down the remainder of the series, a few listens indicates this is the best so far - they're great DJ tools, but err on the minimal a little too much. Certainly, there's nothing as warm and emotive as #5.
I'm working my way through Frozen Border at the moment as well - go dig in those crates...
Horizontal Ground on Discogs
Frozen Border on Discogs