Ramon Tapia - Mini Jack

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  • I have a recurring conversation with my flatmate about the sheer quantity of excellent electronic music that we will never have the pleasure of listening to. Even if you dedicated you entire life simply to listening to music, you wouldn't have ingested even a small percentage of its entirety. It's a thought that more than a little worrying, and it's music such as this new "mini-album" from the relatively obscure Ramon Tapia that makes me speculate as to which other gems I might be missing. Every track on here is sickeningly well-produced; slick, rounded, balanced…[insert other desirable accolades here]. "Can You Dig It" is by far the deepest effort on the EP, its rolling, resonating bassline complemented by a Martin Luther King, Jr.-inspired spoken vocal calling the brothers and sisters of house music to arms. "Enterprise" is arguably the weakest track here; the broken bass seems a little unnecessarily constrained, like a growling wolf chained to an iron pole, and some of the percussion leans towards the tinny end of the scale, but it's still decent enough and definitely nowhere close to a deal breaker. "Just Me" is epic, and probably the strongest of the seven; the bassline is insanely fat—any decent club system would turn this into colon-worrying affair—and the kitsch "camp robot" vocal, although slightly grating on the first listen is an inspired addition when coupled with the short but powerful mid-track breakdown. Mini Jack's title track is minimal techno in all its bleepy, clicking glory; saved from relative obscurity by another powerful vocal and screaming breakdown which leaves your ears gasping for air. "Morning Air" is all about what it doesn't do. It doesn't deliver an overwhelming breakdown and doesn't make an obviously "big" impact, but there's an incredible sense of urgency and underplayed anticipation, with a couple of fizzing '80s sweeps which create a dark, ominous atmosphere that never truly releases itself. "UFO" continues this sinister, creeping threat and ratchets it up a few notches with acid stabs, eerie clicks and the omnipresent rolling bassline that seems to define much of Tapia's sound. Rounding things off with the unpronounceable "Tanzgefühl," Tapia takes us back a few years with some Detroit house vibes that inevitably get twisted with some skittering hi-hats and distorted sirens; all to magnificent effect.
  • Tracklist
      01 Mini Jack 02 Tanzgefühl 03 UFO 04 Just Me 05 Morning Funk 06 Can You Dig It? 07 Enterprise