Mikkel Metal - Cassini/Mazurski EP (Tartelet, out now)
Mikkel Metal's output over the past couple of years has been of consistent quality and regularity, though he's been on a small hiatus of late. His new EP for Tartelet is a pleasant return, managing to combine equal parts experimental sounds and solid techno groove with a hefty dose of weird analogue kit warping around. A-side Cassini's smothered and blurry 909 kit sticks to simple techno riffs, but with all the reverb and white noise, is a subtly restrained number that builds up layers of filter-sweeping synths to great effect. Borrowing heavily from Deepchord/ Soultek's sparse dub production, Metal demonstrates his ear for great sounds and tones, building up a rich, full palette. Mazurski, on the flip, cuts straight to the chase with Detroit-inflected synths, widescreen dynamics and some truly epic build-ups guaranteed to level dancefloors. Even with the meandering vocal line spouting some spaced-out nonsense about the meaning of music, it's still a euphoric, driving piece of techno that deserves to be played really loud, and is a perfect counterpart to the A-side. Perfectly balancing out the record is a Dub that takes in elements of both previous tracks, dropping vocal snippets through long delays and working a ghostly aesthetic reminiscent of Burial. Whilst Mikkel Metal's EPs occasionally overplay the depth of sound at the expense of building engaging tracks, this a well-balanced, focussed EP that provides some cracking tunes. Good shit.