Although he is known under a variety of names and styles, producer Daniel Martin-McCormick is perhaps best known for his releases as Ital on Mike Paradinas’ Planet Mu imprint. While these releases offered intriguingly psychedelic takes on typical house and techno tropes, a persisting structural confusion hinted that Ital was yet to refine his voice as a musician. For his first release on Workshop, McCormick seems to have finally fit all the puzzle pieces together, offering a stylish and experimental three tracker which presents his best dance production to date.
The EP is a smooth and tranquil listen from start to finish, where tripped-out beat patterns and bright synths flowing in and out of harmony. Ice Drifter (Stalker Mix) is the highlight here, sustaining contrasting qualities of intensity and calm, suffused with a glazed ambience which holds off from ever turning into a hard techno workout.
These qualities are presented throughout the EP – on Pulsed Ital draws comparisons to Kassem Mosse and Lowtec, delving into more overtly melodic territory. Finally the uncertain chords and synths of Slower Degrees of Separation form a culmination of the EP’s sound, with minimal percussion woven expertly into the track. As a whole Workshop 18 is a treat: symphonic and rhythmically complex, Ital works tasteful ambience into the core structures of house, techno and minimal.