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Michael Black Electro Michael Black ElectroRemixes

7 / 10

Michael Black Electro BLACK ACRE (Team Acre 004, 12” + digital)

Michael Black Electro is like a theatre persona. He dresses up, puts on make-up, runs away, changes his voice looking for a dramatic effect – to seduce, excite or calm down, depending on the moment and intention – and at the end of the day he is a chameleon with the appearance of a modern soul man. From Helsinki, Finland, Janne Hyttinen is something like the Steve Spacek of the local skweee scene, the Jamie Lidell of cubist funk, a velvet Don Juan in love with synthetic rhythms, mechanic but smooth like a feather. These remixes out on Black Acre, one of the most happening labels in the field of wonky abstract European hip-hop, manage to do something that’s very difficult: they respect the plummy essence of Michael Black Electro, let his freaky ladies-man nature be known at all times, and at the same time give it the weird instrumental treatment with smoking beats like a marijuana exhalation. Four artists were called upon, and deliver between them four pieces of dubstep, hip-hop and mist that make this vinyl a nice tool for DJs at a loss to reduce the intensity of their sets. The Teeth remix of “Mustang”, for example: the basis is reminiscent of Burial, the voice is a toaster with a cold, the experience psychedelic. Or RPK’s remake of “Helicoid Trajectory”, who built a lot more using the codes of skweee, like a piece of funk drenched in IDM so strange it provokes dizziness (and with its feet firmly planted on an electro floor). The package is completed by the two foggiest interpretations of the set: there is Desto (cosmic dubstep for “Agape”) on one hand, and Finnish Clouds on the other (narcotic downtempo to put “Mustang” to sleep). It’s elegant and it’s weird, and therefore good.

Claude T. Hill

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