Various Artists - Relations EP on murmur

Words by: Sean-Michael Yoder
Posted: 18/12/09 8:13

The latest digital release from the popular UK techno imprint Murmur is a solid five-track underground techno house affair. What sets this compilation apart from the zillions of other tech house and minimal releases out there is a strong commitment to groove that ties the whole release together. It is best described as a deep, funky house vibe that never seems to waver between the various tracks and producers.

Things on the EP kick off with rising talent Tom Demac, who starts the proceedings with relentless tribal beats akin to a rocket ship leaping off the pad. The heavy thump of "Find Another" is colored with muted jazzy chords to give the heads down aspects a little less emphasis. As such, the results are decidedly musical despite any late night nods to the contrary. Label head Stuart Geddes follows things up with the track "Rom". This one has less energy than Demac's but still comes across as bouncy fun time groove music without having to sacrifice its tough techno exterior in the process.

Talented Aussie newcomer Mic Newman takes things a little deeper, introducing wistfully dark and melodic arrangements as well as slick rolling percussion accents on "The Lovely Whore". It makes for the most restrained sounds on the comp but is still worth a listen in terms of sonic intricacy.

Veterans Inxec & Matt Tolfrey contribute the best cut of the collection on "Decisions", this one is deep as a well with nice ambient textures that capture the two talented producers creating a lasting 4AM groove.

Rounding out the EP, Brazilian producer Talking Props makes his recording debut with a nice throwback to the end of the last decade with a high dosage of filtered house and tropical percussion for a small hint of summer at the height of winter.

So much of the so-called deep house invasion seems to lack the necessary groove to even call it house music in the traditional sense, and that is not so with the Relations EP. The relations in question here are all based around a single-minded groove and memorable musical phrasing. This compilation spanning consistency allows each artist to explore diverse sound landscapes while keeping the vibe firmly planted on the dancefloor creating something vibrant and enduring.

Artist: Various Artists
Title: Relations EP

Label: murmur

Tom Demac 'Find Another'
Geddes 'Rom'
Mic Newman 'The Lovely Whore'
Inxec & Matt Tolfrey 'Decisions'
Talking Props 'Catraio'

Our Rating: 7/10

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