- MMM and Soundhack are both artists and labels whose fascination with disco predates that of most current producers, and also takes a completely different form. MMM (aka Erik and Fiedel, best known for ‘Donna’, a weird but brilliant electro-style edit of Donna Summer from early this decade) and Soundhack (best known as half of Smith ‘n Hack) both like to chop tracks up into tiny pieces and then process and reassemble them into harder, harsher forms, albeit with a strong sense of humour.
That sense of humour is the defining characteristic of this release. If you think that techno, like the Internet, is serious business, you need read no further.
Soundhack’s side is the harder of the two, and is strongly reminiscent of early DJ Sneak. On ‘Devil’s Run’ a galloping two-note sample is looped and stuttered teasingly before a galumphingly heavy kick drops in. You constantly expect that he’s going to release the full sample over the next phrase of the song but it never happens. ‘Rodeo’ is apparently an unreleased track and is full-on pranksterism with it’s unspeakably jolly guitar loop creating a countrified knees-up feel, though god knows how he managed this because there’s absolutely nothing country-esque about the sample.
On the other side MMM’s ‘Touch and Go’ is completely ridiculous. It’s as if the pair have deliberately used all the corniest ideas possible and jammed them into one song. There’s a plonky metronomic bassline and farty-sounding synthetic horns playing a tune that’s halfway between a fairground and an exercise video. And of course there’s cowbell in the classic ‘dunk dunk da-dunk dunk’ pattern. Speaking personally I love small parties in small rooms where everybody’s drunk including the DJ and this track is perfect for those moments particularly when the brass hits on beat one give way to a eurodance organ playing the main riff.
‘Casiotone’ is probably the winning jam on the EP, however, and is another one from the vaults according to the press release. Like ‘Donna’ this feels like disco source material twisted into electro shapes. There’s a roiling one-bar bassline and acidic squelches and that’s pretty much it, but it’s a stunningly effective groove and a true exercise in minimalism. You’ll need to be a great DJ to bring out the best in this, but these artists have always made challenging music and there’s no reason to expect them to change now ten years on.
A1 MMM - Touch & Go
A2 MMM - Casiotone (From The Vaults)
B1 Soundhack - Devils Run
B2 Soundhack - Rodeo (From The Vaults)