Marionette is a new label out of Toronto, and their first signing, Deer, is a Weimar-based producer with only a few releases to his name (including a 2010 EP on Giegling). You might not have heard of either, but once the first moments of "Spooky Action At A Distance" trickle out, chances are you'll be hooked. Emotion weighs heavy on every careful drum hit, thrumming bass note and guitar fret squeak, but not in a maudlin way. Moving with the slow creep of minimal techno (think Pantha Du Prince), it blossoms into a carefully shaded saga of mourning and sadness, more implicit than explicit thanks to some jazzy chord progressions. Dwig's "Evocational Remix" is slightly happier, replacing the original's hefty melody with a more leisurely keyboard figure. It's a more upbeat counterpart to the original, the kind of thing you might play in the early hours of an open-air party.
The most striking element of Hirsch's work is his acoustic guitar playing, which comes to the fore on "Holding On, Moving Up." Otherwise rhythmic and physical, this one grinds on a rubber-band bassline, building a frame of tiny, popping percussive sounds around the fragile guitar. The guitar comes again for the curious "Emerging Wildlife," a bite-sized chunk of boom-bap with some sassy disco strings and a bluesy riff that sounds borrowed from some cheesy hip-hop track. It's a jarring tonal shift—and not a very good one at that—but considering the high quality of the other three tracks, it's easily forgiven.
TracklistA1 Spooky Action At A Distance
A2 Holding On, Moving Up
B1 Spooky Action At A Distance (Dwig Evocational Remix)
B2 Emerging Wildlife