Mark E - Slave 1

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  • Coming off the massive edit of Janet Jackson’s ‘R&B Junkie', Birmingham producer Mark E returns to original productions on this, his second 12-inch for Gerd Janson's Running Back label. Sort of. Listening to these tracks, you'd be forgiven for thinking that they too were re-edits. E's production style is sample-heavy and focuses on the hypnotic qualities therein. 'Slave 1', for instance, relies on a quickly repeating vocal sample to undergird the proceedings, while a plodding bassline allows room for a voice to repeat the phrase 'It was worth your while'. It's only apparent after five of its eight minutes that what she's saying true because, by that time, you've given up wondering if there will be radical changes to the track and simply settled into the undeniable groove. The same can't be said for 'Pulse Friction'. Like a '70s Jean Michel Jarre cast-off, the pulsating synth line is beautiful to listen to, but its dancefloor potential is virtually nil. I'll listen to 'Pulse Friction' at home plenty of times, I'm sure, but it’s 'Human' that I hope to hear out soon. It picks up the pace somewhat, but follows much the same pattern as ‘Slave 1’. It sounds perhaps even more like an edit, switching off as it does between two different themes throughout the piece. Over time, though, the two begin to merge. One takes a vocal stab from the other – the other takes a kick drum right back. It's a subtle trick, but a remarkably effective one that helps raise this above the murk of most nu-disco. Overall, another excellent 12-inch from Running Back.
  • Tracklist
      A1 Slave 1 B1 Pulse Friction B2 Human