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White Noise: Cliff Lothar - White Savage

Sunday, 30 June 2013

Cliff Lothar - White Savage

Label: Viewlexx

The years have done nothing to dull the appeal of I-F’s Viewlexx label, the Dutch imprint which has spent the best part of fifteen years releasing a stream of steely Italo tracks and mutated Electro and House constructions. For their first release of 2013 Viewlexx welcomes Cliff Lothar to the stable, an apparent newcomer who works in the murky boundary between house and techno with style and skill, easily assuming a distinctive voice and atmosphere on this debut release.

Dro Friday

Opener Dro Friday proves a perfect introduction, a slo-mo house cut adorned by moody synth blips and curiously catchy vocals, all underpinned by a dangerous, lurching bassline. As an ethereal synth wash takes over the track’s second half the tune comes into its own, the all-pervading darkness never quite effacing the unmistakable sex appeal of these sounds. La Boce is a murkier affair, sharp hats and bright synths offset by a deep, squelching bassline. Halfway through the track becomes distinctly unsettling, the vocals crowding over each other, drawing to a fever pitch which is followed by an eerie calm.

On the B-side Lothar continues to pursue his shadowy visions on Ringleader, where a menacing pitched-down vocal intones over a propulsive, acid-laced rhythm. Finally Running Out Of Time continues on the acid-tip; a mutating array of burbling 303s, compressed hits and an ever-increasing urgency which reaches a dramatic climax in its final movement. While there is a powerful mood surrounding this release, it is perhaps Lothar’s emphasis on concision – none of these tracks break either 120bpm or the 6-minute mark – which makes for such an impressive package. Equal parts dark and seductive, it’s clear that after almost 20 years Viewlexx still knows how to pick a winner.


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