- After a trio of releases that brought out some of the biggest names that Innervisions has to offer (Henrik Schwarz, Dixon, Âme, Laurent Garnier), Basement Tracks sees the label returning to their secret weapons route with a split release from two producers who have a minor—if that—reputation outside of their home country.
Lil' Tony, AKA Helsinki club kingpin Toni Rantanen, had his production beginnings in Nuspirit Helsinki, which may go some ways towards explaining the live feeling of "House." It's a four-to-the-floor stomper that sounds like it was banged out on an ancient piece of machinery, belying its "Raw Version" subtitle and one that doesn't do much more than march in place for three minutes before strings and brass start to slowly moan and drone their chords. There's no real climax to it all: Rantanen simply drops the bass and drum out and brings them back in, but with elements that already skirt the edge of accessibility, that's probably a good thing.
Tony's dub of the track is predictably cleaner sounding, its sound design more fit for a lounge than a basement. And yet those lingering orchestral swells push it back into a place where it might only make sense if the ceiling were a few inches taller than your head. Which is to say: It's a bit disorienting, bordering on messy and ready to take its place as the unsettling 6 AM track that signals there's darkness ahead.
Judging by its name, "Predator," would seem to serve the same purpose. Yet the young Romanian producer Boola's contribution to this 12-inch sounds like it might fit into the mix at anytime. Reflecting a bit of that [a:rpia:r] charm—Boola's recorded for them too—the unhinged sample that flops around in the background, creaking to the left channel and then the right is key. But so is the unrelenting scissoring synth and the stab that punctuates it. With basement tracks like these, who wants to go upstairs?
A1 Lil' Tony - House (Raw Version)
A2 Lil' Tony - House (Dub Version)
B1 Boola - Predator