There’s always been something appealing about D’Marc Cantu’s sound. He’s steadily cultivated and nurtured Jakbeat in a manner that successfully manages to fuse past and present earthly inspirations to create often otherworldly and outlandish tracks. Throughout his work for Crème, Sequencias and the home of Jakbeat, Nation Records, it’s evident that his output has been as consistent in quantity as it has in quality. It may therefore come as no surprise to hear that the Ann Arbor resident’s new 12” on MOS Deep is equally impressive. All three tracks on offer here manage to conjure idiosyncratic sonic landscapes: wholesome, heady and vibrant cocktails of aural colour that you’d struggle to put down and before you realise it, they’re gone.
Opener Long Weekend plunges you right into the thick of the hectic action. Full of vivacity but tempered by such an aura of level-headed sensitivity, it picks up the listener and sends them on a dynamic rollercoaster, steadily sculpting its way through all corners of techno, acid, and deep house. It starts off slowly enough – a simple three note synth pattern cloaks an undulating acid-funk lead – but soon ill-tempered, pitched-up snares fight for attention alongside the more melancholic elements, sending the track into altogether more tempestuous territories.
It’s a hint of what’s to come on the flip, where, residing under the tendentious titles of 1lb Of Flesh and Acid Test, lie two of 2014’s most badly behaved acid stompers so far. Both are brash and corrosive workouts, stripped down to their essential rhythmic components in order to showcase the power of both TB and groovebox. Acid Test is the quicker of the two and perhaps the most chaotic. Here, a coming together of cowbells, shakers, snares and hats occupy every off-beat over a filtered bassline that stealthily creeps in and out of the mix to casually wreak havoc with consummate ease.
There’s a real retro-freshness to D’Marc Cantu’s production on this release. His work encapsulates the initial vibrancy and vitality of house’s earlier days and exudes a special sound and style (first glimpsed in those seminal twelves) in the process. It’s precisely that combination of sound and style – namely, an audible soul and aesthetic substance – that makes this release so striking. That’s why it feels so liberating to listen and dance to.