Reviewed By: Matt Sever
New Andrew Red Hand release on Chiwax titled, Spiritual Capital EP. It’s a four track EP to be released on vinyl & digital.
Chiwax is one of six sub labels of Rawax, along with Chiwax Classic Edition, Dubwax, Housewax, Rawax Motor City Edition, Traxx Series. Chiwax came on the scene in 2011, since then it has had over 80 releases featuring a formidable roster of artists, including the likes of Posthuman, Andy Vaz, Robert Armani, DJ Skull, Perseus Traxx, Gemini and Hardfloor to name a few! Rawax has quite the back catalogue too, as impressive in number and quality of contributing artists. The other five sublabels do not disappoint either. I lost myself in hours of listening pleasure scanning through some of the very many releases that these labels have amassed.
Andrew Red Hand (ARH) hails from Romania’s spiritual capital lasi. Described by the late, great Aaron Carl as “the Romanian Underground Resistance himself”. ARH was one of the initial generation of DJ’s in Lasi, and could be found DJing, throwing parties and championing Romania’s underground scene from 1997 onwards. Things have not changed much since in terms of work ethic, ARH continues to this day with a relentless DJ and production schedule. His fans go crazy for his sets which blend traditional Detroit Techno and Electro with the sounds of techno-bass, raw Chicago acid house, classics and futuristic beats. He has played Tresor and his mixes for Radio UR (Underground Resistance) and The Grid (Detroit Techno Militia) remain highly regarded to this day. His productions have been released on Detroit labels such as Twilight 76, Matrix, Detroit Underground, Databass, Detroit Techno Militia, Cratesavers Intl, Visillusion as well as other labels from elsewhere in the world, M>O>S Recordings, 1Ø Pills Mate (Lobster Theremin), Bass Agenda and Land of Dance.
On to the music. The A side brings us Palace of Culture. Things kick off with a quick synth melody, closely followed by the bassline line, again closely followed by the four/four kick. You can hear the Detroit influence, the progression is great, percussion on point, builds and drops in all the right places. You could play this in a variety of genre of sets, a versatile tune, tough without being overbearing.
Next on the A side is Current Mood. The tempo seems to drop slightly for this one. Laid back chords, a hat and smooth bass start this journey. The kick comes in, again four/four and solid. This is a deeper affair, beautiful chords, lounge over the beat and the bass, is just perfect, lazily showing you its there every so often, it works so well. This tune was made for a sunny afternoon session. Love it.
The B side starts with Jack in lasi. Four/four kick, synths, percussion, then kick bass and claps. This is more up-tempo. Layers of synths build, the percussion builds, an almost haunting echoing piano like melody drifts over the top, but the groove keeps going. I love these two contrasting sounds, the hypnotic relentless groove of the synth and bass, driven by expertly programmed percussion, and the magical piano like melody interact, build and drop, and just work together throughout.
The EP finishes with Missing Mom. Again, this feels like a slight drop in tempo, time to go a bit deeper. Solid four/four kick, a bit of percussion, a descending bassline, almost melancholy chords and melody ride effortlessly over the top, sweeping from left to right in my headphones. This is a real groover, and builds subtly throughout. Towards the end and acidic sound comes in and just takes it to that higher place.
This is a fantastic EP, four solid tracks ranging from techno, house, and exploring the deeper side of things too. You can definitely hear the Detroit influence, there is a rawness to his sound, but the production, sound, and programming is absolutely spot on. Let’s just say you can hear 30 odd years of experience in his music. Great release from a master – Andrew Red Hand and a high-quality label – Chiwax.
Straight in my box.
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