Subwax Bcn sub-label Subwax Excursions (Future Beat Alliance, Metro Area) drop this LP of Midwest fetishism from Irish producer Derek Carr. We don’t mean that in a bad way, mind - Contact contains eight impeccably executed homages to the spacey techno of Drexciya, Planet E, Underground Resistance et al in a manner similar to Space Dimension Controller.
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No matter what it sounds like, Derek Carr is not from Detroit, he’s not even American. Sure his music sounds like it’s from the Motor City. Sure his name is basically Derrick Carter. Sure he’s asked Abdul Haqq, who’s worked with Juan Atkins, Derrick May and Underground Resistance, to do his artwork. But I can assure you, this man is from Ireland.
This is not to say Carr is pretending to be anything he’s not. From the album’s name, ‘Contact’, to its artwork on which the cyborg seems to be receiving the transmission sent on Model 500’s ‘Classics’ artwork, Carr is open about how much he owes these titans of dance. You can also hear his respect on the tracks themselves, Carr obviously loves Detroit techno, it would be impossible to make music that sounded so close to it otherwise. ‘Contact’ has track after track of sleek sci-fi bops, filled with funky bass-lines and sci-fi soundtrack strings. The album opens with ‘City Limits’, easing us in with its slightly less dense production and gentler drums. By the time you reach the second record, you’re flying. ‘Mystique’ is frenetic and thrilling, with rhythms all over the place. Closer ‘Upside Down’ is the album’s most powerful. The way Carr uses strings is incredibly emotive, and in the right hands could lead to a real “tears in the club” moment.
If you’re a fan of Detroit techno you really owe to yourself to give ‘Contact’ a try. Much like Jodie Foster’s character in ‘Contact’ the film, Carr really believed, and his belief has paid off.
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