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2012/03/01 / monteurhulot

LABEL // First Second

Keeping abreast of – and thinking about – electronic music, particularly that subsection designed for dance floors, can be exhausting, not so much because of the pace at producers and their machine symbionts flood the world’s communication systems with new variants, fusions and sub-generic tweaks and re-imagingings, but because of the endless debates about stagnation, commercialization, and authenticity that quickly follows each new permutation.

It is most soothing, then, when artists come around who approach established electronic genres with enough skill, craftsmanship and discernment to wash the grime of internecine quibbling from one’s mind.

Yes – I can use the word ‘dubstep’ again.

That’s thanks to Pachydermy EP from Ickis Mirolo, member of an Irish production cadre and its attendant Dublin-based netlabel, First Second. “Crickets” and “Insects” finds a position between turn-of-the-millenium originalism and “future/post” texturing from where the music can sound like a vital distillation of a genre, neither a tired rehash, a failed experiment, a regrettable fusion or a didactic bore. “Moth” plays with house and techno, which are actually the mainstays of the label so far – their introductory compilation, Zero One, is full of slick, tasteful house and techno numbers, alluding to many eras and locales without sliding into mere homage. David Kennedy’s two-track XOX/OXO joins feathery rave to steady disco, Bobofunk goes more of straight 2-step route, indulging along the way in a chintzy, fun garage remix of Madonna, Cult Clone drops two delicate tracks that fall between Four Tet and the Field, and Cameron Duffy makes some velvet-smooth with just enough force to drown out any complaints of gentrification.

Oh and hey, all these releases are available as free downloads.

Go give them all a try, and keep your ears peeled. First Second looks to have a great year ahead.



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