- When we last heard a major statement from Jake Fairley, in 2008, he was crafting lush electronica under the influence of classic trance and early Kompakt. His new EP for Areal, his first solo release there, is a reminder of how much the predominant sound of the underground has shifted in the past two years. There's something almost unfashionable about this EP, which forgoes deep house pretense in favor of tense, acidic sequences and metallic FM synthesizers.
Nearly nine minutes long, "All Dreams Are Nightmares" is threaded by a single midrange bass pattern that knocks like the tapping in Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart might have, had Poe taken to cocaine instead of opium. All the action is in the lines that wind around the filtered throb: flashing hi-hats, glassy pings, and a melody like a hive of bees. Bubbling and roiling, it's not entirely unlike the so-called "headfuck" techno of Giorgio Gigli, Donato Dozzy et al., but the messy, manic intensity here sets Fairmont's interpretation apart.
"Puppet with Glass Eyes" plays with a similar set of sounds, but it makes something completely different out of them. With a gently swinging beat that eases off the 16th notes, it sinks into a relaxed groove; bell tones and muted pads are further softened by sweetly cycling harmonies that never resolve. Instead, he threads major through minor, stacking countermelodies to build to a beatific, eyes-closed climax. It's a whole different approach to deep: hardly au courant, maybe, but full-fathom just the same.
A All Dreams Are Nightmares
B Puppet with Glass Eyes