- New music for new times?
- Axis records calls the music on Jeff Mills' Str Mrkd EP "new thinking for a new time." Even so, it sounds like... old Jeff Mills. Axis conceded as much when the label explained how another producer's track, "Patterns In Nature," ended up on the record credited to Mills. "Because of the similarity of the production style, Mills mistook this track as something he had made a while ago," the statement read. In this instance, Mills' "new thinking for a new time" sounds like what he's been making since the '90s.
"Patterns In Nature," produced by Julien H. Mulder, is a stylistic outlier on Str Mrkd. It doesn't sound much like Mills' high-energy loop techno—it's housey. There are fewer bits of top-end percussion on Mills's tracks, save for the occasional wispy hi-hat or rimshotty click. This might make them harder than usual to track in the mix. For that reason I'd struggle to call anything on Str Mrkd a "DJ tool," but Mulder's track is by far the most playable. Its worst crime is that it's a little milquetoast, with classic drum machine sounds and vintage techno pads. While it's a nice tune, it doesn't offer anything new.
A2 Patterns In Nature
B1 Helix Nebula