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The Keys


This is Matt John's debut for Cocoon Recordings. This is Sheffield, Warp, and the early Hacienda and LFO-days that are shining through here. No massive 909-programming, no Chicago and no New York house revival, and finally, not just another London and Berlin hipster soundtrack. We are talking northern sound-inspired techno here, dark but hedonistic analog synths and for those who remember: A Certain Ratio feeling all over the place. The style and vibe of Matt John's collection is defined right from the start: "Interview" is built around slim analog drums and shouts out loud that you won't find loop-house and over-polished drum-sounds in here. "Angel Dust" will show many youngsters how effective a clean and banging 808 can be. The classic backwards strings on top lead to that special dark but hedonistic vibe that is almost dying for some cool MC Tune rhyme. Matt John continues with his very own bleeps and plonks revival and with "Monogramm" it is almost undeniable that master John must have been a big fan of the "Sweet Exorcist" and all the other Warp legends. With "The River," Matt John shows his jazzy side and introduces more warm organ sounds and heavy beats and even a guitar joins the game. "The Ocean Inside" sounds far more contemporary and way more up-to-date then the rest of the album. A dry bass line, dub-echoes, warm strings, and a pretty cool groove makes it a nice connection to the techno of today. "My Pocket" follows this and more jazz vibes are spread, almost in a soundtrack-style. "The Keys" features banging beats and the vocals call us to "enter the signs of today." "Britz Wind" slows down the tempo again and has a nice summer sound. "The Surf Owl" is a bizarre melting-pot of heavy beats, ocean surf and synthesizer bird-sounds. On "Today" a New Order bass line and vocals that appear to be recorded through DJ headphones meet a funky guitar and create a great piece of music. Last but not least, "Froydish" possesses a hypnotic beat and sounds that follow a more contemporary direction, forming a soft and warm ending for a heavy album.