Monday, 30 May 2011

5 Magazine Review: Tomson ft. Diamondancer - Tap The Core

Something I rarely hear mentioned when lamenting the rise of 320 kilobits per second and the demise of the record store, the ruin of vinyl and everything that's gone with it is how easy it is now for a sound to crosspollinate. Once upon a time, you could work in isolation for years without knowing really if anyone liked or even cared what you were up to. A story told to me by Mike Dunn mentioned that Armando Gallop knew he was being cheated by a record label because he worked in a store and saw how many units were being moved (the implication here: that those who didn't have that kind of access had no idea).

Out of all those names who made a just a small handful of records on Trax, DJ International and the like: how many gave up just because they figured (wrongly) that they weren't getting anywhere?

So one of the most powerful benefits of this era is that kindred spirits can connect and even collaborate without existing for one solitary second in the same time zone. Take for example this release from label co-owner Tomson on his Development Music imprint. It's a collaboration with Diamondancer, a poet from Detroit that's been featured on labels from Still Music to Sonar Kollectiv, and featuring Mixmode's Delano Smith (another Detroit product), mixing with UK fellas Eddie Leader, At One and of course Tomson himself. Couldn't happen back in the day - and it's often a disaster when it happens even now - but works like a charm here, gathering an impressive braintrust of beat technicians for this deep and techy five track release.

The original mix is a storm of erupting chords, which go well with the rough spoken-word style vocal from Diamondancer. Delano Smith's remix has that hard, straight-ahead edge you naturally associate with his productions. In particular, I liked the stuttering organ effect, which plays well with the bass line (I thought it'd work on my last nerve after about 20 seconds; after about two minutes, I'd grown to love it.)

Leader & Yuriano's Remix is the most melodic of the package - it's kind of amazing how close Eddie can get to an "authentic" Chicago Deep House sound, which so many folks that grew up on the stuff from afar confuse with a kind of audio Sominex. The drums are really live here; the swirling keys worthy of a Larry Heard production. Finally there's At One, whose production is in the slower, trippier and dreamy fashion. I like the vocal mix better, but I suspect the Dub will find favor with DJs due to it being so easy to mix in and out of. It's sort of the perfect "bookend" track, which makes it a nice way to wrap up this release.

[ - Review by Terry Matthew / May 2011 - ]

Available: Digitally from Traxsource or Juno Download.

Tomson ft. Diamondancer: Tap The Core EP

Tomson ft. Diamondancer - Tap the Core (inc Delano Smith, Eddie Leader & At One remixes) by Development Manchester

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