- White stalwart Edward, AKA Gilles Aiken, is among the cadre of producers intent on making Berlin a house town. Along with his labelmates, Aiken has thrown parties throughout the city, hosting gigs at nearly any venue that will take them. It's been a laborious process, but White finally seems to be gaining traction. Oskar Offermann's Apple Crumble Beneath My Feet was the imprint's biggest release yet, and Expressions in Stone will no doubt build on that success. Aiken's fifth release for the imprint, it follows in the footsteps of his previous works, building subtle house tunes out of unexpected sounds.
It doesn't always work. "The Ghetto," in particular, rankles as yet another seemingly casual use of a racially charged vocal sample. Even worse is the cliched Roland organ lick that completes each phrase. Elsewhere, though, Edward comes with the goods. "Bush of Crows" squeaks and squawks in all the right places, giving life to the otherwise ordinary backing. And hidden on the B-side, "Grounded" is a simplistic tour de force of how to create more out of less. Each element is stripped to the bone. The bells sound stolen from Steve Reich's Pendulum Music; a vocal appears, but is buried so low in the mix you might think you're hearing things; hand drums appear in the final third as though it's the most natural thing in the world. It's the sort of understatement that made Edward's "In the Mood" such a special track. Don't miss out because it doesn't bash you in the head the first time you play it.
A1 Bush Of Crows
B1 The Ghetto