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Go BackDark matter - Luke Solomon's Demons EP.

Posted: 9/11/07 10:11

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The last few months have seen the acid revival flourishing. From the mainstream - Defected's surprised re-release of Josh Wink's Higher State Of Consciousness- to the underground Jamie Jones' banging Should Have Gone Home.

We've been treated to a whole electric kool-aid acid test's worth of freaked out, fucked up, bad-for-you sounds. Luke Solomon has taken the trend a step further with his latest Demons EP, which contains a contemporary take on acid house that is simultaneously so fresh and so totally authentic it will fry any remaining functioning synapses.

It's not the title track, Demons, a propulsive funky cut in its own right, riddled with creaking synths and a fantastic old fashioned tribal-esque vocal, but rather Return To Darkly. The title sounds like it's been ripped off from a rubbish Hammer Horror movie but the music belongs entirely to Solomon's thrillingly warped imagination. A swirling melange of stabbing basslines and eerie birdsong (or are those high-pitched cries something more sinister?) at first, the middle section of the track slows and unfurls in a welter of spooky effects and 80s video game whistles and bleeps. The tension ratchets up gradually till a suitably Gothic vocal intones "return to where you came/return to Darkly " - the queue for a head-rushing blast of driving acid beats. Unlike many club records (which it clearly is) it is so subtly effective you want to sit and listen to it over and over again. It makes you want to crawl inside the tune and figure out why it sounds so cool.

The remaining tracks, while not as insistently brilliant as Return To Darkly, provide it with appropriate company. The Devil Is An Englishman, as well has having a great name, is a lighter, bleepier interpretation of the acid sound. This cut sits somewhere between the tweak-and-bleep vibe of minimal techno and the fatter sounds of old school house. Again, it displays a luxuriant progression. This is no one-trick, build-and-break dancefloor pony. It stretches and swells and shifts gears and plucks sounds in and out like a kid fiddling with a Jenga set. The result is, again, heady.

Rounding out the selection is Brennan Green's remix of Demons which should perhaps be called the "a long time ago in a galaxy far away " mix for its weird conglomeration of spaced out melodies and exotic eastern vibes. If they were dropping microdots on the Millennium Falcon this is what they would want to be listening to. It's the psychedelic yin to the driving yang of the rest of the EP and a rather nice way to finish off. But it's the spooky, exuberant throb of Return To Darkly to which you'll keep, well, returning.

Words by Jenny Lee