v/a: Detroit Electronic Quarterly Volume 7: Spring Edition LP (Detroit Electronic Quarterly, 2016)May 15, 2016 at 3:35 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment
Detroit Electronic Quarterly is a magazine-plus-compilation series that has been in existence since 2005. They used to include CDs with their magazines, then they took a hiatus for a while, but last year they came back and started issuing vinyl records. Both the magazines and the albums aim to highlight some of the most exciting, lesser-known artists making waves in Detroit’s ever-growing, always exciting electronic music scene. The first side of this record focuses on house music, with straightforward, soulful tracks from Mike Clark (of Underground Resistance, not the ICP producer) and Todd Modes leading the charge. The Mike Clark track (“Just Can’t Wait”) is the most pop-leaning song here, Todd Modes’ “Serenity” has vocals, too, but it’s more of a band-based jam, with guitar and congas. Quinton McRae’s “Way of the Warrior” is a more stripped-down percussive track with primal cries. Marshall Applewhite’s “My Satellites” is down-and-dirty acid house, with a slower tempo, filthy distorted beat, pitched down vocal sample, and caustic acid squiggles. The second side of the LP is closer to techno, opening with “Song For 4B4A44” by The Valley and the Mountain, an incredible electro track which could’ve fit on one of Warp’s Artificial Intelligence compilations two decades ago. Discogs says this artist has 4 records out already, I’m seriously wondering why I haven’t heard of him/her/them at all before. Gustav Brovold is another new name (no records out, as far as I can tell), and his track the longest and most hypnotic one on the record. Steady, slowly building, minimal, driving, but with a bit of a spacey wash to it. Gary Martin’s “Charlotte” is even more minimal, with sly, ticking beat and a few stray guitar licks, eerie synth scans, and a howling vocal sample in the background. Even though this record just came out, there’s already an 8th volume on the horizon, which will be available this Memorial Day weekend in time for Movement, if all goes according to plan.