- America's gay techno underground isn't only a scene, it's also a sound. The music is sassy, fun and gently retro-minded, and the latest release from Honey Soundsystem's label epitomizes it. "Crystal," which focusses on the lighter side of acid house, is the kind of track that could have come out at any point in the last 20 years. It also brings some distinct East Coast flavour to the San Francisco-based Honey crew: it's the first release from Justin Cudmore, a New Yorker who used to contribute to the now-defunct techno blog Little White Earbuds. Furthermore, the record is backed with remixes from NYC staples Mike Servito and Gunnar Haslam, who add a tinge of aggression to Cudmore's bubbly groove.
The original "Crystal" is wide and wobbly: there's lots of room for the elements to move around, with 303 phrases and cartoonish chords floating like blobs in a lava lamp. Mike Servito's presence is fitting, as "Crystal"—and particularly his "730 Reshape"—is just the kind of classicist acid track he loves to play. The remix loops a short clip of the original melody into the repetitive slap that Servito's sets are known for. And he does it with a smile, retaining "Crystal"'s goofy charm. Gunnar Haslam's "Dekalb Avenue Remix" turns the original into one of his needlepoint techno joints, letting the tension build as acid lines buzz around like flies in a jar. The record is a fine entry in Honey Soundsystem's nascent discography, and a potent transmission from one of dance music's most fun-loving communities.
B1 Crystal (Servito's 730 Reshape)
B2 Crystal (G. Haslam Dekalb Avenue Remix)