Marcos Cabral is half Runaway with Jacques Renault and co-owner of On the Prowl. This vinyl here is himself charting the well-treaded dubby techno territories and does not disappoint. It is not a mere copy of any Basic Channel / Moritz Von Oswald production. Instead, it is a release full of originality and uniqueness, fine tuned and well-executed. Cassandra, my chosen offering here (promotional purposes only, folks) is a delicate, gentle and melodic dub exercise in nuance and texture layering. This is techno in one of its many splintered variants. And i am fully conscious of the connotations the word brings to some. So let me reassure you. Let, actually, Legowelt, an also experienced electronic music crafter, clarify you what kind of techno we are dealing with over here: ‘(…)when I say Techno, I don’t mean that booooooooooring contemporary sh*t they call techno nowadays with overrated talentless pretentious douchebag c*nt DJs playing a few halfassed dumb mongo beats and being all artsy fartsy about it.” So be it.
In 2009 a mysterious 12″ with excellent artwork jumped out the shelves of Picadilly records at me. The blurb boasted of the labels seedy origins in NYC’s chinatown and the music stomped out a path between the high camp excess of euro disco and full on acidic power. The man behind this monster was John Selway (of Neurotic Drum Band fame) and both sides of this record became staples of my sets.
Fastforward a few months and another 12″ appeared in the same sleeve, as before containing no clues to the records identity. I hit the internet in search of clues and found that this was the debut release from NCAM, a new production alias for Nick Chacona and Anthony Mansfield. On one side they gave us ‘Handle this’ a looped and filtered mid tempo house edit of Sharon Redd’s ‘Can You Handle It?’, which builds and drops along the lines of the L.E.S.S. Productions catalogue. On the flip was ‘The Bongers’, which begins with some simple drum and bongo patterns and a hypnotic bassline then features some afro guitar work, before finally dropping some dancefloor vocals about shaking and moving and dancing all night (all the usual stuff). Another high quality release which didn’t garner a great deal of attention.
Then in 2010 came the jewel in the Mystery Meat crown. Edition number three came from two of the men of the moment, Jacques Renault and Lee Douglas, and duly received more attention than the previous releases, but curiously still failed to take the world by storm. This fact is even stranger when you look at the quality of the two tracks. ‘Pump’ is an 8 minute disco funk banger, constantly moving, effect heavy and with the addition of some growling bass synths. It smashes dancefloors whenever it gets an airing. Sadly I can’t shed any light on the original artist or track, but I’d be amazed if it’s better than this edit. It has bongos, horns, handclaps, raw funk vocals, lasers, chicken scratch guitar, timbales, cowbell, the kitchen sink. It is a monstrous track. On the flip is ‘Got to Find a Disco’, an edit of the Love Exchange track of the same name. Compared to ‘Pump’, this is a more minimal number, gradually working the breaks of the original into the repeated vocal hook, and eventually letting a loop of the song’s main riff underpin the track. Once again, the use of effects is sublime, and creates little peaks throughout the 7 minute duration. All in all two sides of essential dancefloor weaponry for your arsenal.
Despite three high quality releases, the label remains a mystery to many, and indeed internet research as to who is behind the label has proved fruitless. Who knows if or when there will be further delicacies served up, but regardless, here are some aural gems for you to savour in the meantime. There are still copies of the 12″s floating around on the web, and I implore anyone with a record deck to hunt them down, you will not be disappointed. For those without turntables, here are rips from my copies at 320, along with some bonus OGs for comparison and an unreleased edit of Love Exchange from Italian disco boffin Bottin.
Public Release, that low key record label quite close to RVNG INTL. reaches its third installment, and as usual without warning. The first one was some Tim Sweeney’s edits; the second by Jacques Renault, was spotted on and a secret weapon of many djs. Both with great disco reworks, especially the latter one. But it is all about Blackjoy now. You would expect some serious disco here. The answer is no. Blackjoy delivers a real scorcher on A side. ‘Secret’ is a fast paced melodic techno with soft touches of acid that easily reminds me of the best moments of Chateau Flight or I:Cube’s epic ‘Cosmic Race’. Only difference being that Blackjoy injects more punch to the beat. It is a perfect secret weapon for a late hours dancefloor.
On B side, we go slow with ‘Games’, as it has been the norm over the last three years thanks to The Revenge or Mark E flooding the market with some excellent re-edits, and many mediocre ones which are better to avoid. However, this not being an edit, it becomes a bit more original. Not as technoid as ‘Secret’, still has some beautiful synths and emotive dubbed guitar riffs that makes it a good ‘balearic’ tune. Somehow, the guitar riffs and the speed of the track bring some memories of Police’s ‘Bed’s Too Big Without You’. Maybe it is just me.
This will surely be, an unsung classic. As with any other Public Release, it is a gorgeous thick 180g picture disc vinyl with impressive artwork. They do fly these ones as they are very limited and they do not get repressed.
I will take you to the link, both for listening, and buying while they last, just here.