Underground Resistance mega-post

June 11, 2022 at 6:54 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Wavejumpers: The Sunken Treasure EP

Underground Resistance doesn’t release new music very often, so a new batch of fresh releases and reissues is major news. Unfortunately Submerge wasn’t open this year during Movement weekend, but the nearby Underground Music Academy hosted a popup shop which stocked some UR merchandise. The most buzzed-about new UR release is the EP by Wavejumpers, a duo including Tyree Stinson, brother of the late James Stinson of Drexciya. Tyree previously released music on UR as part of the Aquanauts. As expected, this is Drexciyan electro machine funk, although it seems a little more repetitive than that group. The tracks are meant to be played at 33, but there’s pitched down voices and kind of stiff midtempo beats, yet it clearly sounds wrong at 45. The last track has a pretty excellent groove but the ending is surprisingly abrupt. It’s a good record but it isn’t going to surprise anyone who is familiar with Drexciya or UR.

Mano De Fuego: 12″ EP

Mano De Fuego, on the other hand! I had no idea what I was in for, and as soon as I put the needle down on the first side, I was just grinning from ear to ear. Straight up classic UR, at their most positive and uplifting. “Sol” just bleeds sunshine and I could listen to it on loop for hours. “Descenso” is more electro, and “Mito” is another truly joyous, lightbringing UR-style techno-soul track. Just a lovely, amazing record. Essential UR and an excellent first showing from the mysterious Cedillo Brothers.

Mike Ellison: Covalence 12″

I also picked up a new reissue of Electric Soul’s “X²”, a classic Mad Mike electro track originally released on Direct Beat in 1996. I hadn’t even heard this track before, but it was a huge late night radio hit in Detroit back in the day apparently, just a fantastic night cruiser with effects-shrouded vocals and a levitating synth break. The reissue has a remix by Tommie Cool, which I guess must be new, but it’s minimal and barely has any vocals and it’s just not as memorable or exciting as the original. Finally, the other new UR release I picked up was “Covalence” by Mike Ellison. It has four versions of the same track, two on a house side and two on a techno side. Mark Flash’s edit on the house side is the winner, with more UR-style uplifting synth chords backing and elevating the spoken poetry, which touches on Detroit techno’s legacy and its future. The poem is then isolated on its own. On the other side, the Detroit Tech Edit strips out nearly all the words and just sticks to the beats, then the Extended Edit incorporates the full lyrics, but there’s a lengthy instrumental intro so it’s easy to mix. Definitely more of a DJ tool side, I like the fuller emotions of the Mark Flash mix better, personally.

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