- Will dance music ever truly appreciate the might and majesty of a Maurice Fulton production? Or is there something about the low-key, press-shy way he conducts himself that will always make widespread acclaim elusive? Fulton is an institution for DJs and dance floors in the know. For decades, he's been a dependable source for tracks that are sexy, rubbery, slippery, weird, yet instantly danceable. Whatever Fulton turns his hand to, his style remains distinctive: his music squishes together disco, house, techno and Latin music, extracting a viscous, vertiginous funk from it all. His latest full-length, as Syclops, came out digitally last month without warning, as with most records on his label, Bubble Tease Communications. (It will come out on vinyl via Running Back in June).
As with the last two Syclops LPs, Pink Eye induces a sense of aural overload. Take in a few spoonfuls and Fulton's genius feels unmatched. Downing the whole thing at once, though, can be exhausting and overly rich. But Pink Eye, alongside the last Boof album, The Hydrangeas Whisper, lets in more space than previous Syclops LPs, and has some playful turns from Fulton that give his singular sound some new wrinkles.
"The Skipper," for example, is the sort of classic batshit Fulton track that can make a packed dance floor combust. It's shot through with warehouse-shuddering drums, haywire robotics and a synth bass low-end that wobbles like jelly—those elements alone make it one of the wildest tracks of the year. About three minutes in, though, Fulton shows a lighter touch. A squeaky, cheesy synth melody, like something Daft Punk might have dropped circa Homework, pops up and tempers the track just enough.
"Sarah's E is Back" feels like a sequel to A Blink Of An Eye's "Sarah's E With Extra P"—AKA the track that made Theo Parrish go wild—but it's more streamlined and less riotous than its predecessor. "Mario & Soley" is breezy and cosmic, with the keys soaring over chunky, tumbling drums. It serves as a bit of a breather before we get into "Spin Cycle," which is that rare thing from Fulton: a dark and bristling techno track. But it's not a relentless, heads-down affair—it's stamped with his inimitable sound design and Latin percussion breaks that recall his psychedelic 1999 classic, "Revenge Of The Orange." "5 Left," yet another killer cut, is driven by pinging tones atop the walloping kick, while cellphone rings give it another eccentric edge. Like all the best Fulton material, it might sound wrong, but it feels right.
01. Boat Ride Around Nyc
02. The Skipper
03. Caryll J The Superhero
04. Sarah's E Is Back
05. Mario & Soley
06. Spin Cycle
07. Karo B Is Not On Love & Hip Hop
08. Kelly Is With Her C
09. Luciana Murder Muffins
10. 5 Left
11. Pink Eye