- It's 5 AM on the dance floor and your friend is shouting something near your ear that you can't quite make out. You smile, nod agreeably and try to zone out to the music. The room is dark and smoky, a little claustrophobic. You start to think about calling it a night when a two-note bassline emanates from the stacks, followed by the most peaceful chords you can imagine. At that moment, everything suddenly slips into place. Your friend stops talking and locks into a head-down shuffle. The tune's transportive power lifts you above your fatigue, reminding you why you came here in the first place. The track is DJ Sotofett's "Current 82 (12 Mix)."
If there's new music powerful enough to inspire the kind of breathless, nostalgic tone typically reserved YouTube comments on '90s rave videos, it's DJ Sotofett's side of his split 12-inch for Keys Of Life, the house-oriented imprint of Finnish experimental stronghold Sähkö Recordings. True to the obtuse nature of everyone involved, both sides of this record are mixes of tracks that have never been released. SVN's "Dark Plan 5 (Extended Mix)" finds him in a restrained deep house mode that he hasn't tried since the first two SUED releases. The track is melancholy and meditative, a take on the spiritual New York sound plied by producers like Fred P. Naturally, SVN's version is somewhat ramshackle. A snare that sounds like a scraping metal brush drops four minutes in, and the slight variations on the chords that form the track's backbone make it clear they were played live, with room for happy accidents.
SVN's contribution is terrific, but it's overshadowed by Sotofett's showstopper. "Current 82 (12 Mix)" begins with a blast of noise like an old modem, before it introduces a vocal sample from Madteo's 2013 track "We Doubt (You Can Make It)," which came bundled with a Sotofett remix. On last year's excellent Drippin' For A Tripp (Tripp-A-Dubb-Mix), Sotofett worked with a raft of collaborators; he's in solo mode here, but somehow "Current 82" feels like a curated piece. Maybe it's because of the core elements it shares with thousands of other records—abstruse experimentalism, a wonky but insistent bassline, vintage rave pads. Sotofett arranges it all for a perfect, immediately familiar 13 minutes, like an amazing forgotten track given a euphoric late-night airing.
A DJ Sotofett - Current 82 (12 Mix)
B SVN - Dark Plan 5 (Extended Mix)