Derek Marin - I Like That Freq EP on Superfreq

Words by: Sean-Michael Yoder
Posted: 4/11/13 8:43

Derek Marin has been one of the more consistent US producer these past few years, working a fairly simple formula in creative new ways, coming up with something listenable almost every time out. Few artists seem to possess that kind of skill and yet Marin remains something of an underdog despite the solid track record and a back catalog most producers would kill for.

His latest, “I Like That” is bold and ambitious but perhaps a bit woolly in need of some editing. The remixes from Alexi Delano and Alexander Lissau are mostly good enough, although none stray far from the trail blazed into the wilderness by Marin. It’s on the second original. “We Bide Our Time”, that Marin hits the sweet spot – a druggy synth-pop inspired jam with his trademark percussion sounds.

The title track works the basic constructions of Marin’s sound - micro loops of chunky percussion are splice together for a funk that straddles the line between break beat and tribal. There are obvious similarities to the dirtybird artists here but there isn’t anyone at that label as in tune with house music’s synth-pop roots than Marin. Eighties theatrics going on in the bass aside, this track teeters on being overwrought, before lazily drifting off into some weird no-man’s land between house music and a serious bad trip. Marshall Jefferson used to make music like this, maybe there should be more.

Alexi Delano is another very consistent producer like Marin so it’s no surprise the two are connected on this release. He has the good sense to tone down theatrical analog bass squelch of the original for a something a little more modern in feel. He also edits out the original’s decent into musical madness, which seems good in theory but has some unintended negative consequences. As a result, the track feels compact but also feels a little lightweight and linear in comparison to the more ambitious original version.

The artist formerly known as Luke vB, Alexander Lissau, gets his “Freq In Space” on with his take on ‘I Like That”. Lissau’s version retains the original’s chunky production style but replaces the melodic elements with annoying chimes. They are apparently the “space” part of the remix mentioned in the title but they’re also worthless and ill thought out. Basically, this one is the heavily edited version for the big room play. The problem is that it’s kinda limp and mostly sucks, especially in comparison to the other two versions.

We Bide Our Time” is a nice b-side gem that suggests that Marin’s Depeche Mode obsession may have led him to O.G. synth-pop pioneers Alan Vega and Martin Rev. Then there’s the Alan Wilder sleaziness of Recoil in the melodies and maybe even a touch of Trent Reznor to help cover a few of the producer’s gray hairs, which must surely be showing after making this track. It’s fun, nonetheless, combining some interesting elements and exploring them in a compelling enough way to make this track the pick on the EP.

Artist: Derek Marin
Title: I Like That Freq EP
Label: Superfreq

TracklistI Like That FreqI Like That Freq (Alexi Delano Remix)I Like That Freq (Alexander Lissau Remix)We Bide Our Time

Our rating: 6.5/10
Derek Marin


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