Scape One - Potent Mutagen EP

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  • While all the recent talk of electro has centred around the NonPlus+/Swamp81 school of bass-heavy 808 fetishism (here in the UK, at least), Phil Bolland's Cultivated Electronics has—true to its name—been quietly going about maintaining, and building on, a tradition which began long before Instra:mental's latent influences became overt. A succession of impressive vinyl and digital-only releases, with contributions from the likes of Matt Whitehead, Silicone Scally and Finnish aces Morphology, have seen the label forge a sound which strikes the right kind of balance between genre classicism and dance floor functionality, nowhere more so than here: Scape One's first release for the imprint, and very possibly its strongest offering to date. Both originals pay their dues to Detroit, "Substorm" by way of body-rocking UR breaks and a rollicking, feel-good EBM bassline, and "Potent Mutagen" in the form of a smouldering, C2-esque arpeggio lead and drifting outer space chords. The latter, in particular, evokes that peculiar sense of melancholy futurism so unique to the Motor City sound, but in a genuine, rather than deferential, or, worse, parodic, fashion. Remixes from label-boss Sync 24 and past Delsin contributor Dynarec take things into flagrantly peak-time territory: "Substorm"—already something of a beast—is given a healthy injection of acid-laden mutant funk, queasy bass, manic keys and a blabbering female vocal making for one hell of a panicky ride, while digi-bonus "Time Falls" gets maximalised beyond recognition—a good thing if you like your kick drums booming and your synth lines brash. Unlike Scape One's hook-driven A-sides, neither is the kind of track you'll have lodged in your head come the end of the night, but they're certainly ones you'll rock to while they play. Furiously.
  • Tracklist
      A1 Substorm A2 Potent Mutagen B1 Substorm (Sync 24 Remix) B2 Time Falls (Dynarec Remix)