Reviews: Carl Craig DJs


Kit Clayton: The Angular Adventures of Kit Clayton in the Land of Sound and Shape



"W-Shape" [162k RealAudio]

"W-Shape (Remix)"

[143k RealAudio]

I don't usually see a lot of ink on this label--and that's really a shame. Jason (Velocette) Williams has quietly help anchor the melodic techno movement(s) of the East Coast and the Midwest to that of San Francisco and the narrowing gap between SF and Los Angeles. The latest Parallel release seems to do all that and more, traveling through Berlin for effect.

"Box Shape" kicks off in what sounds like your typical "Ich auch"* manner, but adds a funky and almost anachronistic bassline that sends things spinning in different directions. This is a tightly constructed dancefloor cut, but not so much so that a DJ would be locked into a particular type of set.

What follow are two permutations of "W-Shape," which let me just say is one of the most incredible achievements in techno I've heard in a long while. Clayton teases you first with Velocette's remix on the A-side--a gorgeous bit of luminescent techno--before plunging into the slower-tempo passive workout. The anchor of both versions is an undulating bassline and tiny melodies comprised of what sound like nautical bells. The reverberations of these cuts definitely send you out in the middle of Toop's "Oceans of Sound," its notes acting as audible buoys to guide you along.

Coming in at a faster tempo is "Ellipse," with much of the echoed atmosphere of the rest of the EP. What sets this one apart are the distinct unfiltered handclaps and cowbell punctuation of unfamiliar origin (not the Roland noises that are burned into my auditory nerve, anyway). In fact, there's a fair amount of non-traditional percussion and syncopation in here that make arbitrary designations like tech-house fall away quickly.

For all its para-geometrical parlance, this 12" is anything but cold and mathematical techno--it's some of the most inspired music I've ever had the pleasure of reviewing.


P.S. There are also a couple of loops that echo the feel of the EP.

*German for "me too"

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