- Oliver Bristow's Acid Test seeks to renew, not revive, the sound of the 303. Tin Man, who collaborates with John Tejada on Acid Test 012, has executed Bristow's vision more faithfully than anyone else on the label. (His Acid Test 01, with its gentle melodic curves and cream-like ambience, might be the label's definitive 12-inch.) But on Acid Test 012, the sound shows signs of fatigue. Snaking in steady waves through "RailJet," the duo's acid sequence is a buoyant platform for the glassy harmonic spots that emerge later. They play off each other nicely, but the result is a little bland. The mutable acid loop of "Prater Allee," which evolves over six minutes of white noise trails and rusted guitar reverb, seems content to bathe in the ambience. These tracks lack the melodic spice of weeping acid epics such as Donato Dozzy's "In Bed" and Tin Man's "Mystified Acid."
Acid Test 012's most remarkable track, "Bim," deploys pinprick arps over gorgeous, reverb-washed chords—a contrast of frost and warmth. It also has the least obvious acid presence of the EP's four tracks. There's no such contrast within "Danube Nights"'s viscous groove, where acid kneads the beat in gentle yet purposeful rhythms. The 303 has more impact on Acid Test 012 when it takes a back seat.
B1 Danube Lights
B2 Prater Allee