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White Noise: October – String Theory

Friday, 16 March 2012

October – String Theory

Label: Simple

Will Saul, of Aus Music fame and one of the finest DJs I’ve had the opportunity to see this year, discontinued his Simple Records label after the milestone of 50 vinyl releases last February. The story goes that after hearing Julian Smith’s latest creation as October, he decided to pull the label out of retirement just to release these fine cuts of off-kilter House music. It’s a nice background but only worthwhile if the music is up to scratch, and after listening to the two original cuts on String Theory it seems to me that Saul made the right move.

String Theory

Title cut String Theory is a perfect example of sunny-day House vibes, purpose-built for chilling and dancing outside on a summer’s day. Rich percussion lend the meandering track a lazy but clear momentum, paving the way for sampled bird calls and a satisfying bass loop. As the track gets under way these features are joined by a fantastically jazzy Rhodes sample that steals centre stage and makes this track a rather unique proposition, not to mention an essential listen. The second original cut, Tension Point, harks back more to October’s Bristol roots, with a much darker edge to the kicks and beats. The looped vocal sample – ‘I need to get away from all this tension’ – conjures a strong mood before being swept away by a striking bass bounce, later supplemented by smooth synth twinkles accenting the sound to lovely effect. It’s a great set of original cuts, each presenting a different mood while remaining mature, well-crafted and exciting.

Tension Point

On the flipside are two remixes courtesy of Danny Wolfers, under two different aliases. The first, under his most famous Legowelt guise, is more faithful to the original, pushing it into spacier territories with a strong synth loop establishing a nice groove. The second, as Polarius, is a much darker Techno cut, referencing moody Detroit sounds with strangely-treated synths rendering the original recognisable only by its beat and bird sounds. Both are interesting takes on the original, and while neither quite tops it, the first is a worthwhile listen in my book. If you check this EP out, it’ll be for the two great original cuts, the first of which will definitely be topping my plays when summer finally comes.


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