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When Mark Pember and Marvin Beaver (Meat Katie and Dylan Rhymes) disbanded Lot49 Records less than a year ago there was a national outpouring of grief (well in my house anyway) and a feeling that maybe the best years were behind us and where could Mark go from here. But not one to sit on his laurels Mark immediately formed Lowering The Tone (LTT) label – named after his successful and often hilarious podcasts where he interviews leading lights in the, mostly, techno and breaks music scene – this is not just a record label but also is to encompass parties and include a roster of label artists who would collaborate with each other to produce something greater than their sums.
This track is LTTs 28th (!) release, – that includes a lot of Lot49 releases that have been repackaged, remixed or just released- and is a great way to show how they have moved on. Neurodriver, Dom Smart, has been released by Lot49 before but I think the two have rubbed off on each other here. The Psy-breaks (hate that term) edge of Neurodriver has been sandpapered down to its techno base and has imbued the whole tune with a dark brooding feeling but you can still hear his signature bleeps. Meat Katie’s part seems to have hardened his sound a bit in relation to other tunes of late or at least that’s what I think I hear – it’s hard to say who does what really.
The tune starts with building hi-hats and a quiet bubbling bass line until it comes to the line, sampled from prisoner and prison reformer James Cavitt reading a spoken word dialogue about the prison system from a John Legend Ted Talk; “I live in a world that kill people who kill people in order to teach people that killing people is wrong. Imagine that.” As the echo loops, fades and returns, with more sampled words pasted on top of that still bubbling bass, all the while building on the echo, and over-layered with drums and hi-hats until it reaches a crescendo. The sound warps and distorts until it breaks with that bass still rumbling… and it’s back to the spoken word sample and the build begins again until that too breaks this time into a slightly more psychedelic refrain of the tune and this time the build is even more distorted and manic. Imagine That!
One for peak time techno sets as well as maybe late night/early morning after parties but definitely not a psy-trance party in a forest…it would scare the pixies away. And with a remix release coming soon from James Harcourt and Ben Coda this is a good as any relief from the world at the moment and you can still feel you’re getting a message for your head as well as exercise for your feet.