- Colin McBean's second appearance on Semtek's Don't Be Afraid is as deep a release as you'd expect from anything stamped with Mr G's name. McBean's not one for stylistic reinvention, but he has an uncanny ability to compress rhythm and melody into their barest elements without losing their impact. "Tutonic" is a case in point, its canter unpinning nothing more than a three-note bass riff and the odd blast of static. Somehow that's all McBean needs to fashion one of the funkiest techno tools you'll hear in a long time.
"Rum Trip Up," on the other hand, exposes this approach's flaws. Where "Tutonic" grabs your lapels and headbutts you for seven minutes, here the vocal and rolling bassline is more of a limp slap. Muted chords lift things somewhat in the second half, but there's little to hold your attention, as can happen with such a sparse palette. Better is "Last Chance Saloon," a sinuous beast remixed by McBean as Mango Boy. From next to nothing he fashions a slow-burning, it's-5AM-and-I've-lost-my-friends joint that billows and snaps.
B1 Last Chance Saloon (Mango Boy’s Plantation Dub)
B2 Rum Trip UP