Two originals and two remixes add up to a fine EP
Italy's Joseph Mancino comes to veteran Spanish label Beatfreak Recordings with a four-track EP of deep, dubby minimalism. And across the EP's two originals and two remixes, there's enough variety here to satisfy whether you come at 'minimal' from the house or the techno side.
The title track is up first, opening with sparse beats and ominous synth scrapes before introducing the most distinctive element: a deep male voice reciting chunks of Victorian poet Lionel Johnson's Dark Angel. That makes me look all literary and clever, so I should 'fess up right now that I only know that from Googling the lyric... no matter though, with its Lucidflow-esque air of smooth menace and that disorientating vocal, this is one that'll delight lovers of red-eyed, headnoddin' minimal grooves for sure, while an accompanying Hernan Bass Remix plays up to the title and opts for a skankier, dubwise feel while using the vocal far more sparingly.
The other original track is My Love Is Not For You. In its original form, this a more uptempo, more obviously dancefloor-oriented cut than the A, with handclaps, rumbling bass, muted rolling beats and a filtered, near-falsetto male vocal - that somewhat confusingly seems to say "I'm not enough for you" rather than "my love is not for you" - which loops at intervals throughout the track, augmented by some female gasps. The remix on this one comes from Tripio X, who smoothes out the track's more jagged edges, making this one for housier floors.
Splits Your Dub itself takes the gold for me here, though choosing which mix would be a photo finish - either's good! As for My Love..., again both are cool, but Tripio X's re-rub just nudges it, I think. That said, the whole EP's a quality affair, so check it!
Words: Russell Deeks
Release date: 13 February
Review Score: 8