- 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.
A2 Potent Mutagen
B1 Substorm (Sync 24 Remix)
B2 Time Falls (Dynarec Remix)