- Speedy J's Electric Deluxe label has got a great philosophy of inspiring individuality in DJ sets by utilising the developing technology and expanding possibilities offered by the digital format. This includes a heavy slant towards offering tools and parts of tracks for DJs to fit together in a more creative and skilled manner than just beatmatching tracks end to end. The excellently named Empty Vessels accordingly offers vessels with which to carry whatever else you see fit; vessels which clank hollowly like the decaying hull of an iron ship.
The two tracks that come on the vinyl release, the original and Gary Beck remix, could happily work on their own (particularly the Beck), as excellent productions in their own right. But they're simplistic enough that they would probably be put to better use layered with other material. Kieran's original tick-tocks along, light and brittle, as a variety of ethereal and creepy sound effects flit about the upper midrange. It's a tight and minimalistic beat, with lots of space for augmentation. The Beck remix is more of a stormer, with a warm, constant subbass, churning midrange and tight shakers and snares. Builds and drops are carried by white noise in the classic manner: it's effective, but again would really be elevated in combination with something else.
Gary Beck's Tool (no sniggering at the back please) —his first one, that is—illustrates this point by not removing too many elements; the heavy bashing of a snare is the most obvious, with a wider hole left in the spectrum to make layering an easier task. His second tool leaves behind just the treble; grinding machinations which ebb and flow. They're straightforward separations of a track which might have been built with such a treatment in mind. Phil Kieran's Tool, likewise, contains the second- and fourth-beat handclaps and weird sounds from the original, without enough of a beat to carry them. That bit, again, is your job.
A Empty Vessels
B Empty Vessels (Gary Beck Remix)
Digital: Empty Vessels (Gary Beck Tool 1)
Digital: Empty Vessels (Gary Beck Tool 2)
Digital: Empty Vessels (Phil Kieran Tool)