George Fitzgerald - Don't You / SCB Remix (Hot Flush Records)
George Fitzgerald, whose debut EP, The Let Down, neatly tied together the dominant strains of garage, bass, house and R'n'B that were big at the time, returns to Hot Flush with another cut of fractured vocals, broken beats and lush synths. To some extent, it's more of the same; there's mournful detuned vox that warp in and around the melody, skittery half-step percussion and rich synths all bundled up in warm atmospherics. Undoubtedly, this is going to get rinsed to death, especially with Scuba, the man who's A&R skills have launched Joy Orbison, Mount Kimbie and Sigha backing it, and providing a remix on the flip. But this is no monster anthem; it's the moody, richly textured version of the garage-not-garage thing that Kavsrave, J.O. and the rest are punting at the moment. Whether or not there's space in the marketplace for more of the same remains to be seen, but Fitzgerald has his own charm and energy that makes him worth looking out for. Hell, even the vocals have their own place, unlike a few too many of Orbison's tracks.
For me, though, the B-side is where it's at - Paul Rose (Scuba), under his SCB moniker careful extracts the essentials of the original and processes them into the kind of Berlin Boom-Tish that he's been espousing lately. Honestly, it's not the best thing he's done under either moniker, but nailing the synthy, purple wow-inflected garage-isms of the original onto a solid technoid template makes for a genre-smashing synthesis. Nice work.