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- Smell Of Metal by Charles Hayward
8/10 Mike Staff review, 07 February 2014
New 2x12" EP here by ex-This Heat man Charles Hayward, with two new tracks on the first disc and remixes on the second. On side A, 'Lopside' mixes live-sounding drum breaks with a single high-pitched synth chord which chimes out at regular intervals. As the piece progresses the drums are tampered with, cut up and reversed and likewise the synth stutters and falters disorientingly, but the basic groove remains firm and steady.
Over on side B's titular track we have similar things happening with live drums and very minimal synths, but this time there are droning chords which ring out falteringly in slowly cycling sequences. Before long they're joined by a dubby-sounding bass as the drones swell and recede across the woozy, lolloping groove. Some drones which drop in and out have a low kind of brass/didgeridoo type quality to them which is wobbly and inviting.
Onto the second disc and we start with the JD Twitch Optimo Espookio Version of the opener, with hypnotic loops of cut up drums and synth taking it into territory which sounds like Forest Swords gone chill-out, it's pretty slinky and relaxing but retains some of the alluring physicality of the original. Then to close there's the Maxmillion Dunbar Version of 'Smell Of Metal', where Dunbar edits the original drum beats and then adds some more electronics of his own, slowly building it into a euphoric techno thumper with no small amount of aplomb.
It's certainly the most dancefloor-friendly of the remixes but by the time you get halfway through it bears little resemblance to the original. Not that I mind because it's very good.
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