Rex the Dog - Maximize

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  • Rex the Dog, with his two-original-tracks-a-year work ethic, is not the most productive artist around. If there was something remotely special and distinct about ‘Prototype’, his 2004 over-the-top electro anthem that kinda sat weirdly next to the other Kompakt releases from that period, he then distilled it with various remixes for Client (‘Radio’), The Prodigy (‘Girls’) and Depeche Mode (‘Photographic’), which might explain why his stuff usually gets a polarized reception. That said, there is something quite unique about Rex’s use of the Arp2600 synth, something about its ‘grain’ (as French thinker Roland Barthes would say) that is, if not original, at least instantly recognizable. On his new 12” for Kompakt, it seems Rex the Dog won’t rally anyone new to his cause. At first, title track ‘Maximize’ sounds like ‘Prototype’ on crystal meth, but after a few listens, a definite victory emerges, as if you’d just won a marathon without having any legs nor arms. On the flip, ‘Sequencer’ has a definite and welcome old-skool vibe, like something Orbital or 808 State would have been proud of in 1992, albeit somewhat grittier. Then Rex dares singing on ‘Everyday’ and, damn it, he is pretty good at it! The track ends up being both melancholic and ecstatic at the same time: just a reminder that our sometimes favorite Dog is justifiably part of the Kompakt stable after all.