- Though a relatively new kid on the block, Detroit producer MGUN has already hit the pleasure centres with releases for Kyle Hall's Wild Oats, Don't Be Afraid and The Trilogy Tapes. Manuel Gonzales' music is, on one level, highly classicist, displaying a reverence towards the techno and electro traditions of his home city. But an ever-present anarchic streak, coupled with a curiosity for more distant sounds—industrial, kosmische—prevent him from reverting to boilerplate. Past MGUN releases have fallen between analogue richness and lo-fi scuzz; recent Trilogy Tapes EP The Near Future staggered towards the latter, but on Gonzales' second EP for DBA he polishes things up a little.
That's not to say this release lacks odd moments. Opener "Hand Over Fifth" is bright but unwholesome, its reedy synth chords pitched around mischievously over a drum machine backing. Closer "Bean Chirp" angles for a coasting Detroit techno feel, but it's obscured by thick tape distortion and sabotaged by threatening background drones. Elsewhere Gonzales cleaves closer to dance floor conventions. "Proxy" is muscular, slow-burning acid techno, the sort that periodically surfaces on MGUN releases, and it's a fine example of the form. "Tritan" is similarly streamlined, but its floaty Detroit pads make for a more compelling listen. "Jijijijij$ijijijiji," a banging, boombox electro number, is perhaps the most straightforward of the lot—though no less satisfying for it. Finally, "Funnel Vision" returns to techno, cultivating a strangely ambiguous tone that verges on the hypnotic—though the spell is broken when the whole thing briefly reconfigures as a groggy, downpitched version of itself, before lurching unsteadily back into gear.
01. Hand Over Fifth
03. Funnel Vision
06. Bean Chirp