Reviewed by Roger Versey:
Verdant Recordings is right on time for the seasonal inspired pleasures of your mind with their seventh release, a four track EP, including two remixes: ‘Receptor Theory EP’ by Sirko Mueller( Tokomak/ Wandering) RV800 (Verdant), Tommo & Jonno( Ornate Music) and Havantepe (Verdant, Grounded In Humanity) respectively.
The host of the Receptor Theory EP (VR 007), Verdant is a lovely up and coming label out of the UK ran by Andy Green. He’s been playing and collecting music for over 30 years, and has curated a lot of talent and beautiful moments on Verdants growing catalogue of 6 releases so far; most have been excellent compilations of tranquil and atmospheric techno and house of mighty fine order, as well as another fine split EP project, and the excellent solo EP Common Places by a secret alias, !nterject!on.
Likewise, Verdant has hosted a number of well respected artists dedicated to pure blissful house, electro, techno, and dub, including the hot up and coming Mihail P, Life Recorder, John Shima, ESB, Dominic Capello, Leigh Dickson, AOS, Sonitus Eco, Mick Welch, Low Orbit Satellite, Plant43, XDB, Gauss, SUBSEQUENT, Bluetrain, Leonid, and Stojche just to name a prolific and highly respected few…Their most recent offering ‘Verdant’ is highly recommended, and also reviewed here on Timeline Music, as well as making an appearance on Juno’s LP of the week chart.
Verdant’s releases are also more than just the music as they all boast strikingly beautiful artwork, often in bliss form, full of earthly and organic colour tones. The music of course matches, and like true artwork is not limited or bound by restrictions. Various styles have been showcased in the mighty fine catalogue of Verdant releases…And again, their releases often host multiple artists and are fine class examples of the types of feelings this label is committed to bringing you…whether its house, techno, dub or in between it’s going to always go deep with Verdant. This is not for the posers, there is little regard to trend or what the masses think with the label that is Verdant.
Another creative aspect of Verdant releases is that no matter whether it’s a 4 tracker or a compilation of various artists and respective styles…there is always a theme. Getting a quick moment to chat with Mr. Green about this upcoming project, was a nice luxury. He’s a really cool, down to earth, and funny person…yet he’s all serious Business when it comes to all things deep musically. And with Deep comes imagination, vision and story.
Verdant’s boss man describes the Sirko Mueller/Tommo & Jonno ‘Receptor Theory EP’- VR 007, as a sort of pseudo biography, about a Pharmacologist, based off a real life pharmacologist in training some of you might know. As for the EP’s music story, it’s a 4 tracker of the varied type. There are 2 main tracks- Affinity by Sirko Mueller and Efficacy by Tommo & Jonno, each with their own unique remix by RV800 and Havantepe in that order..the original tracks and the dynamic contrast of their respective remixes have great agonist reaction…and it’s all part of a complete and nutritious meal for your body, and dopamine receptor stimulation. Now, here’s the in-depth scope on the tracks:
The Receptor Theory EP makes a rude entrance of the most proper type as Sirko Mueller promptly booms the pictures off your neighbors walls with the EP’s dubbed out deep opener Affinity. Shared characteristics are an essential focus in pharmacology, as well as that deep techno we love. From Affinity’s opening moments we are brought in deep immediately to many of the shared characteristics of a deep techno track…you’ll experience and hear shuffling bigfoot sized kicks, finely cascaded by reverberated and dubbed out chord stabs. Smoky, crispy hats and a dubbed out bassline with plenty of funk, help create quite the bebop bounce of the track which shares some quality affinity with those good Infiniti Skynet tracks.
Feel the atmosphere of this track in second nature, as its minimal yet fine attention to deep dub saturation draws you in without you knowing, what or where…only you know you’ve gone somewhere quite deep. A little later in the track, you’ll hear more blissed out and beautifully subtle melodic chords, that travel in and out of the track atmosphere like wind, Deepchord style.
Sirko Mueller’s Affinity is indeed a great track, and an equally engaging track to get things started here. Wellness is all through its dubbed out deep personality…the side effects of this track share affinity properties with some of our favorite pharmacological recreation; side effects, better yet effects include euphoria, and deep moments of ethereal bliss outs. Its smoky vibes will certainly bind well with human acetylcholine receptors. Top quality on Affinity.
RV800’s ‘Affinity Bmax Hyperbole’ remix stimulates next to ensure dopamine reuptake is inhibited, with a more club oriented deep House take on the original. Indeed, ‘Affinity Bmax Hyperbole’ is more of a late 90s UK vibe house track with dub elements, and in subtle ways shares some influence from those older Timewriter tracks…and that’s quite welcome with any time known as a good time.
Whereas the original is more blunt deepness, RV800’s Bmax Hyperbole goes in for a deep building and faster paced approach, gradually guiding your hypothalamic transmissions to an emotional peak. The track begins with thumping and punchy, full kicks sub-layered with smooth full house drums, and a charming conga tap every fourth kick. Hats arrive in fashion, smoky like the original but more subdued in the background, subtle yet effective in the driving head nodding beat of the track.
Time for memory consolidation next as those blissful, dubbed out and reverberated chord stabs from the original appear here, sharing agonist receptor stimulating properties with a shuffling, and soulful bassline that loops along perfectly through the orifices of your audio terminals. Dreamy like and melodic synth whistles build up the subtle atmosphere in this smoky house cool stepper. Your reward center receptors will gladly accept the romantic, story of bliss and coastal fog synths” that come in at the tracks peak.
They are warm, yet travel like a lush breeze down your memory lane to the days of cool. There’s also a sexy, classic house female vocal sample that sings “Yeah” every now and then and has the perfect affinity with the harmony in RV800’S Bmax Hyperbole mix. This is one for those Friday or Saturday late nights, at home with a special invitation or in those fog aura lounges with or without pharmacological recreation.
A strong track on its own without a doubt, and quite more than a remix, but rather RV800’S unique yet club oriented perspective with much deep house flavor. Its safe for this pharmacologist to conclude that Sirko Muellers original version of Affinity and RV800’s Bmax Hyperbole mix share quite strong affinity; two unique visions that bind together with magnetic force, much like a drug binds with a receptor that it really likes. Makes perfect sense for this to be the music in this Pharmacologist’s mind, and yours when determining affinity properties amongst receptors. RV800 delivers a fine remix with excellent replay value on ‘Affinity Bmax Hyperbole’.
Speaking of B, Flip over to side B for a lesson in maximum potential, and experience the track ‘Efficacy’ coming your way via Tommo & Jonno. At this point in the EP’s story, affinity surely has been achieved, so naturally the next step for this Pharmacologist in training’s soundtrack to anti-poser research is determining effective potential; that is experiencing the maximum effects of deep house in the case of Tommo & Jonno’s ‘Efficacy’.
The probe into maximum potential begins beatless with a haunting yet sensual chord pattern, accompanied by robotic synths and vocal chirp samples ; a finely crafted opening moment full of anticipation inducing ambience, and letting you know strong potential effects are on the way. Soon, clean, punchy kicks and closed hats make their entrance into this deep atmosphere, while a ghostly female voice sample hums along through the fog of deep atmosphere enveloping this house track. By the time the drum pattern enters, you are once again in that deep place, unaware of time and space.
The beat is of the shuffling variety, as its punchy kicks stagger down deep stairs of drum chops accented with the deepest warm sub bass frequencies. The track is very forward thinking, to say the least, even though it is unmistakably raw, deep house with a modern, forward thinking feel. The robotic harmonizing and chirping samples wouldn’t be out of place in an electro track, yet they work effectively and very well as a fine part of something major in this tracks haunting and sensual atmosphere. Especially as they cascade through the echoes of ghostly female hums and moans. There’s also those subtle sci-fi zaps and zooms at the perfect moments, that you love to have in your imaginative endeavours. It’s a deep track for sure, and despite its rich and dub friendly ambience, this one has maximum potential to be a floor filler when played.
Tommo & Jonno’s ‘Efficacy’ is a mighty effective, deep late night house track, with a lot armchair and tobacco pipe intelligence displayed in its rhythm and atmosphere. Ten out of ten Pharmacologists agree, that ‘Efficacy’ is indeed high here, and sure to activate your dopamine receptors in the deepest of ways.
As the Receptor Theory EP nears it close, our Pharmacologist protagonist is in state of flux from the agonist action and drug like influence that purveys deepness through all of its tracks. He’s afraid this high might not come down, and he sure is right as Haventepe transforms Tommo & Jonno’s original mix of Efficacy into an aggressive yet atmospheric deep acid electro track. It’s amazing how smoothly the EP brought us here to this point, without us knowing or caring…just listening and experiencing. Nevertheless, Haventepes Emax Potentiation begins with that ghostly hum from the original, for maybe a few seconds before taking a subtle yet very present backseat to a shuffling Morphology and Cultivated Electronics influenced electro drum pattern.
Subtle robotic like arpeggios gain in volume as they soon transform into acid layered driving and dark melodies cascading the track throughout from here on out. The minimal bassline is maximum on mood and keeps the track dark in nature as well as aggressive. Vivid and deep emotive high octave synths are heavy on presence here, like fluctuating weather patterns to give this track a future dystopian feel. All the while that ghostly, dark humming remains, likely with a deep smile.
Again, to call this a remix is an understatement. Rightfully, it’s called Efficacy Emax Potentiation…E is for Electro, and it is the max potentiation of a similar pathway followed on the original mix. Indeed, Haventepe’s Efficacy Emax is mighty fine atmospheric acid electro of its own, with those moods we all love about scientific electro. However, its acid elements give it ultimate power on the floor, and it has enough atmosphere to completely saturate any venue…try this one and see if you don’t get lost in the deepest of ways. I’m sure our Pharmacologist protagonist of this story did in his honorable quest for curing poser techno addiction. It’s still a nonfiction affair at heart however, as this EP closes with the real deal, while cohesively as a whole, maintaining a feel that is very surreal.
Congratulations to Verdant, Tommo & Jonno, Sirko Mueller, RV800, and Havantepe on the Receptor Theory EP. They all contributed wonderful research and experiments in the deep, and cohesively this has turned into a very artistic, varied, and atmospheric EP. It’s not just two tracks and two remixes, but rather four unique perspectives all put together with a lot of passion. We can assume that’s why the remixes are called hyperboles and potentiations, as they take the originals and try to increase the strength of their impulses to the max; and it results in something vastly different from the original, only sharing foundation in their original pathways. In musical words, with this EP we get deep dubby deep techno, deep house, a forward thinking style of dubby house and in between, and last but not least an atmospheric deep 303 acid electro jam with ambience similar in aesthetics to the electro of Morphology.
Top content here, and each of its tracks can be a great weapon in any DJs arsenal…just take a pick. If you’re not familiar with Verdant Recordings, go check them out on their lovely Bandcamp page when you get to the link below. Most of, if not all of their releases on vynl are sold out from them directly. However, they kindly offer high quality digitals at more than generous prices considering how much depth and quality you’ll be getting in return. Receptor Theory EP should be on your instant buy lists of EPs this coming summer, and excitingly enough there are rumored to be several upcoming releases from Verdant in 2019. You already know you should check them out.
Shout out to Keith Tenniswood at Curved for the superb audio mastering on Receptor Theory…it really does absorb the listener into its atmosphere and quality of sound mastering for a true experience in fidelity.
At this point you should be dumping your CBT counselors and Psy”liar”trist mad men that gave you chum luck slogans, and emotion muting Benzodiazepines, for some organic, therapeutic recreational pharmacology from the docs behind the Verdant machines. Theory hypothesized, indulge in Receptor Theory and fantasize.
Check ‘eem on out below