- Ten releases into their catalog, Workshop seem to have more momentum than ever. After releasing some of last year's finest records—namely Reagenz's Playtime and Kassem Mosse's Workshop 08—the rubber-stamped imprint returns with another untitled EP, this time featuring Lowtec and two new artists, Schweiz Rec and Ron Deacon. Much like Playtime, the new record draws from the more colorful end of Workshop's palette, with deep, shadowy tunes on one side and disco-tinted house on the other. Though less subtle than some of their previous releases, Workshop 10 is surely one of the label's best.
Taking the entire A-side to himself, Lowtec provides the record's moodier selections. The first tune is the EP's best: as dark as it is warm, with a breezy rhythm, dramatic strings and vaguely mournful diva vocals. It's a surprisingly melancholy track for Lowtec, who normally leans toward more cryptic house and techno, as heard on EPs like Workshop 06 and Angstrom. The second part of Side A is equally surprising: a smoky, broken beat affair, ala Burial or Actress, but delivered in perfectly polished tones. It's unclear exactly how these songs are related—though divided by a period of silence and a series of loud pops, Workshop 10's A-side is widely listed as having only one track. In any case, both parts are exceptional—the first bursting with club potential, the other making for contemplative home listening.
On the B-side, Workshop's two newcomers brighten things up considerably. Schweiz Rec contributes an organ-dominated number with a cartoonishly blissful vibe, disrupted now and then by a weird, distorted squawk. Ron Deacon follows with a sunny, disco-influenced house track, whose strutting rhythm and warbling melody make it Workshop 10's most club-ready selection. Both artists make impressive debuts, and help expand the record's pop sensibility without compromising its enigmatic feel.
A Lowtec - Untitled
B1 Schweiz Rec. - Untitled
B2 Ron Deacon - Untitled