VA – Corroded Circuits EP (Downfall Recordings 004)

Reviewed by: Roger Versey

That time of year has arrived for warm sunny and rainy days, and of course some waves of pure grade acid, courtesy of the fresh and hot on the wax scene Downfall Recordings.

Downfall has a “no tolerance for the fake approach” to their curation of excellent vinyl only releases, all finely dedicated to raw acid house and acid electro – no compromises, and yes you’ll have to hunt for these as they are all sold out, and very Good to say the least (Check out the superb ‘Analogue Beacon’ and ‘Hydrochloric Substance’ EP’s for fine examples). They’re also known for throwing great underground parties in London; and their records are fitting for such affairs, as they possess fine moments of pure jamming the box party acid house.

True purveyors of the Real indeed, Downfall Recordings keeps the acid quality good and strong on their latest and fourth ep, ‘Corroded Circuits’. Downfall brands these tracks as “Real Acid House for the Acid Family. They’re spot on, as the ep consists of four tracks contributed by four artists; and the main entree served here is pure acid house, imagine- 1988 Big Body Box Car Acid if you will; no appetizers, no gluten sticks. Now let’s dive in to this lysergic delight….

We all know that mixing water with acid can cause some nice exothermic reactions resulting in a lot of heat and energy…and that’s what we get here with ‘Glass of Water’ contributed with machine love by ConSequence. The track starts off with a echoing deep voice sample saying what sounds like “Jack” as booming kicks, layered underneath with 808 claps and a driving background bassline make a prompt and grand entrance.

It’s not long before gliding open and closed hi-hats, and a perfectly timed cowbell assist on the percussive elements, along with subtle 808 rimshots and scattered claps. You’ll have an amazing trip off the arpeggiated 303 groovebox synths that ride over the beat providing the main funky melody for this work of acid art, along with warpspeed emulating sound effects, and there’s even movie dialogue samples (5 mg of Jack) thrown in for your human sensual pleasures. Top track here, and an excellent first track to kick off a party set, especially when it calls for acid. This is “Brick city, alleyway, corner bending, and cruising acid house” for the box cars from the box machines if you know what we mean.

Happopumppu comes in to jack the party with ‘Pump Tha Bass’…this one has that lo-fi tape aura that has made a resurgence in recent years. Rich, bass heavy kicks sub layered with faded out linndrum like claps provide drumming services, including those jack-tha-box snare drum breakdowns that we all love. Sticks and open hi hats give the track plenty of percussive energy. Its that Jump up and down with your head nodding acid house here once the 303 acid trip kicks in with mean rave style acid chords that bounce up and down with the tracks rhythm. The bassline takes a cool, arms folded background stance, letting you know this one is certified grade A acid…acid house that is, in true ‘88 pump the box style from when you were just an acid child.

Next up for the acid family is ‘Free’ by The Auditor, who comes in to inspect the premises for posers and fake DJ hipsters. ‘Free’ is a cerebral and jacking acid house affair with perfect and subtle 808 kicks. Beware of the funk from a wormy 303 acid bassline that gradually melts its way through the filters as the track progresses. All along there is the ‘cool as black sunglasses’ slowed down voice sample chanting “Let your body be free” at just the right moments in the track. A colorful and dark chord melody, cowbell stabs, toms, hats, claps, and rimshots drive the percussion in this track.

The acid in this track is very rich, the type that makes it feel like you’re in the room with the producer and the boxes; there’s saturation all day here, but mastered at a level to where it’s just the right volume, and provides atmosphere as well as groove; its deep acid house truly. And things get really deep about 2 minutes into the track, where it goes into the most jamming of minimal acid grooves complete with a nice cowbell solo…there’s also some rewinding effects here and there, maybe to help flash you back to the days of jack…You’ll certainly become lost, or “Free” from the masses as you trip off this high quality acid from the Auditor. This could arguably be the best track on this great ep, and a perfect way to go deep at the peak of house or acid set, or introvert style at home…ultimate quality by The Auditor on ‘Free’.

The acid family affair concludes with ‘Green Language’ by Mantra (Bunker, Solar One, Polybius Trax) who stays true to the raw and dark acid vibes that those familiar with the Robot Dystopia Series will surely know is proper. As soon as the needle drops on this track you’ll hear kicks in this acid jam of the warmest and richest quality, along with a dubbed out nasty Chitown style bassline. Acid squelches gradually fade in stronger as the track builds, all the while that nasty bassline becomes wormy, and so saturated by 303 acid that it’s as if the acid on this one is leaking out of machines, corroding boring commercialism and smeg from your auditory circuits.

Jacking 808 snare breakdowns, serenade this tracks punchy kicks along with closed hats and the infamous 808 cowbell and clap for great taste. This also gives it that fine line of electro and tech feel, but it’s demeanor is without a doubt serious late 80s Acid house. Acid boss Mantra delivers fine raw machine jamming on Green Language- a language where the dialect is universal- we all speak that body jackin acid house.

Downfall Recordings is continuing to establish a reputation as The Place to go for quality Acid House. Corroded Circuits is a strong testament to this, with 4 fine doses lysergic soaked audio, that could kickstart or peak any late night underground house party. Indeed meant for the coolest clubs, also highly satisfying is the production, mastering, arrangement, and sampling on this ep-all done with raw analogue old machines, but mastered with new technology – in other words this is also a great at home listen, or a nice modern reflection on the real style when you need one- shout out to Guy McAffer for the great engineering on this one.

The quality is very promising for what Downfall will release in the future as the finely produced Corroded Circuits EP is just their fourth offering and their previous 3 beauties sold out quickly. Those that know about Downfall Recordings, already called their dealer up- so you know that game and better do the same. DJs melt the hearts of your crowds with 4 drips of acid love found on the Corroded Circuits EP courtesy of those proper folks over at Downfall—They heard you’re in need of a proper Acid bliss out so don’t miss out!