- During his first few years on the scene, Jacob Martin's output as Hodge was restless. His talents have steadily improved, but these days he seems to have settled into a few recognisable modes. There's grimy techno for labels like Berceuse Heroique and Hemlock, rhythm experiments on Livity Sound and the occasional venture into warmer and ambient material. For his return to Hemlock, Martin is firmly in the grimy techno camp, offering a trio of cuts that are almost conventional.
But a conventional Hodge track is still adventurous. "Swing For The Fences" is as close to a straight-up techno banger (a style he seemed reluctant to attempt back in 2015) as he's come, with a ricocheting metallic lead and a mammoth kick drum.Its straight propulsion is offset by little details, including a squeak that sounds like someone stepping on a dog toy. "Aomame" is more restrained, with a vaguely Eastern toy-box melody slipping hypnotically across the unflinching drum track. "Medway" is bizarre, adding sirens and jittery percussion to a melody that sounds like a loop of someone having trouble playing a trumpet. This EP might not show Hodge at his most inventive, but it's effective. From past experience, it's clear that Swing For The Fences is just another stop on his journey.
A1 Swing For The Fences