Relative, the label run by EMG and John Swing, has always had the same MO: analogue club tracks, recorded live to tape, released on vinyl only. Their style, though, has been elastic. Since their first 12-inch in 2010, they've done thumping house, smudged dub techno, subtle afterhours fare and everything in between. Their latest EP, Frames, shows yet another side of their sound: this time we get a pack of blistering, percussive rave cuts.
Every record on the label has come from its founders, either individually or together as Vinalog, which is what we get this time. EMG is the more experimental of the two (John Swing is a house head, as you may remember from his RA Podcast), and it's his sound you hear most clearly on Frames. "Truck," "Sediments" and "Acid Choice" are all tough and gritty drum machine jams. Aside from a gloomy chord here and a filthy bassline there, pretty much all you get is percussion, all of which is (as always) loose and dirty in a way that reflects their production method. "At The Warehouse" takes a different tack: this one is stepping and atmospheric, with a pitched-down vocal sample talking about a rave at a warehouse. Compared to much of Relative's excellent back catalogue, Frames is a little lacking in personality, but compared to most DJ tools out there, it's teeming with it.
Tracklist A1 Truck
B1 Acid Choice
B2 At The Warehouse