Mister Saturday Night is a name synonymous with a singular philosophy towards its musical output: one that effortlessly combines heady, avant-garde tendencies with a steadfast dedication to the dance floor. Recurring tropes in the label’s back catalogue include a fondness for instrumental samples and a strong sense of humour; a keen awareness and respect for the art of having fun. Which, after all, was the original motivation for dance music – the desire to make people dance, and have a good time doing so. Treading the fine line between crowd pleasing and music nerd appeasing is no mean feat, and in classic MSN fashion, General Ludd make it look simple with their debut, The Fit of Passion EP.
Wasting no time on A-side ‘Woo Ha‘, the track crashes into focus with its lead vocal sample, hectic hi-hats and grooving bass line all in full effect. At two minutes in, a cowbell gets involved, and the crowd goes wild. Similar to Four Tet’s track with the silly name under his KH alias, ‘Woo Ha’ is carefully crafted and systematically organised chaos.
All that said, B-side ‘Brothers and Sisters‘ is the real gem on this single. Like ‘Woo Ha’, the tune is led by a bass line that sounds like it was recorded on a bass guitar – a decision that affords both tracks a sort of pseudo-funk quality that lifts them leagues above your average house bangers.
The simplicity of this track is its finest quality: the kick and hi-hats are modest, kept low in the mix to highlight the incredibly effective groove of the bass guitar. Even melodic elements are kept to a minimum; everything hinges on that bass.
Halfway through, hand drums draw us eagerly into a crescendo that culminates in a dead stop for everything except (you guessed it) that unrelenting bass, before dropping us into its golden section. Here we are treated to the respite of smooth keys, alongside a litany of percussive curiosities and well-employed dub effects.
Straddling the offbeat of the house framework so inventively and stylishly is what makes this record so effective. The Fit of Passion EP is at once an exercise in indulgent rhythmic experimentalism for the heads, and a pair of versatile floor-fillers for the punters. Highly recommended.