- Mara Trax is Miss Fitz and Vera, and this is the fifth release on the Mannheim label Oslo. In a short space of time Oslo's bumping German house records have set them apart as one of 2008's most promising labels, at least for those who like their house music functional.
Here Mara Trax have made four rough and sloppy house tools that are right at home alongside previous releases by Federico Molinari and Christian Burkhardt. First up is ‘Funk Me’. Like a lot of 2008 house music, the bass and snare drums are fat and not afraid of letting it all hang out. A chopped up organ cuts provides some melody and the rest is just well timed stops and starts. Next up is ‘Me Funk’. It begins with jangling psychedelic effects and another deep organ bassline. The sloppy handclaps and hints of disco are a world away from some of the precision minimal tracks of recent years. A male vocal drawls "it's GOT to be funky", and you realise that suddenly it's okay to use that sometimes ominous f-word in house music again.
The B side continues in the same vein. ‘Let Goose’ (B1) is possibly the best track on a good EP here. It begins with rumbling bass and shotgun snares, and then a great jacking track is crowned with chopped up gospel vocals. A standard male "yeah" gets looped in the verse, adding a nostalgic feel to things. When the chorus kicks in the mystery sampled voice sings "I'm goin', I'm goin' back", illuminating the thin line that runs between retro and right now. Last up is ‘The Rhythm’ (B2), perhaps the deepest and most serious track on the EP. With a warbling almost acidic melody, it's the leanest cut on this EP, and the closest Mara Trax get to techno here.
This is a four tracker you'll most likely wear out. You may have heard tighter productions, but this is studied sloppiness. Looks like fat is back, and it's as funky as ever.
A1. Funk Me
A2. Me Funk
B1. Let Goose
B2. The Rhythm