Workshop xx Workshop xx

EPs

Magic Mountain High Magic Mountain HighWorkshop xx

7.6 / 10

This is the first time the name Magic Mountain High appears on a record (in a manner of speaking; the “artwork”, as usual on the 12”s released on Workshop, is little more than the logo on the A-side and a gold-coloured label with the website url on it on the B-side). Of course, when you receive records like this one, hiding more than they're showing, you have to step back and contemplate what seems to be a new mystery delivery from the most militant branch of the so-called 'anonymous techno' movement. However, the internet brought enlightenment: Magic Mountain High is the (perhaps one-off) alliance of David Moufag (alias Move D) and Juju & Jordash. They have been releasing first-rate material for a couple of years now, on respected deep-house revival labels like Real Soon, Rush Hour and Golf Channel Recordings. Though unexpected, there is a certain logic to this joining of forces: Move D and Juju & Jordash think alike, produce alike and share an emotional space. The three cuts on “Workshop xx” probably came out naturally, through exchanging some ideas, some sound samples and a few studio hours. Raw and direct, from the master to the vinyl, vindicating the roughest and cheapest brand of American house.

The three tracks are untitled. This is a slice of raw sound, with the grooves as the only clues. Obviously, it's vintage Workshop - in the vein of early releases by Lowtec, Move D and Kassem Mosse - and if nobody had told us David ‘Move D’ Moufang is involved, we would have guessed it; the tracks unfold slowly, built from a constant kick drum but with some snare on top that gives the beat a limping feel, adorned with some pulsations in the vein of the old school English bleep sound. Mechanical, dirty, but at the same time very elegant and graceful - the extended cut on the A-side is a perfect mix of Move D's post-minimal abstractions and Juju & Jordash's post-Detroit deepness, with thick and stretched bass lines (like a slow-motion Kevin Saunderson), unfolding in a cyclical motion, like a heavenly body orbiting the Earth. The B-side is more elegant, has a keener sense of humour and sounds more like New York. Whilst the first track stays true to the deep-house idiom, the second is more techno; yet always raw sounding (like a European answer to Omar-S), and with the rough grace of smooth textures that haven't been polished too well. Few surprises, all in all: this is yet another fine piece of wax coming from Workshop HQ.

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