Not satisfied with being one of the key figures of the new generation of British electronic producers, Joy Orbison continues to start new platforms. After founding Doldrums (a label that should be releasing something new soon, by the way), the Croydon prodigy has just started Hinge Finger - this time alongside renowned designer Will Bankhead, who, in his turn, is the driving force behind the very fine Trilogy Tapes imprint. “Bugler Gold PT. 1”, the new label's first reference, comes signed by Matteo Ruzzon, alias MadTeo, an Italian producer based in Brooklyn, whom we already know through his releases on Workshop.
So far, MadTeo had a sound presenting two significantly different branches; on one side, sleepy hip-hop beats, and on the other, dense, viscous and lethargic house. The latter is exactly what we find on the title track of this release. Blurry chords, an elastic, somewhat crooked bass line, slight vocals and a moderate rhythm are all the Italian needs to brew a dark brand of house, with an eerie atmosphere that will delight the followers of recent Andy Stott. “Biz R Us (Whore Power Resolution)” follows the same path, only in a more agitated and fragmented fashion, much in the vein of the twisted, slightly industrial techno of Actress. On the flip-side we find “Scream Seq. 2”, without a doubt the odd one out, stylistically speaking. Here Ruzzon gives way to his hip-hop vein, combining intoxicated arpeggios with spongy beats. It’s as if a Los Angeles beatmaker had remixed a science fiction soundtrack from the seventies. “Xtra Loose Change (2010 Refix)”, the closing track, sounds less friendly - sharper, with a distant beat guiding a series of erratic chimes, glitches and shrieks across almost ten minutes. It’s an odyssey through the most turbid fields of techno, reminiscent of the most cerebral and experimental productions of Kassem Mosse.
All in all, an excellent 12-inch - which confirms several ideas many of us already held. In the first place, that MadTeo is a producer to keep an eye out for in the margins of modern house. Second, that Joy Orbison, besides being a highly gifted producer, is also a fine A&R manager. And last but not least, that Will Bankhead is one of the best designers on the British underground: just take a look at the powerful artwork and you'll agree.
“Bugler Gold Pt. 1”