21st Century musicians have a tough break. At one end of the spectrum you have the ageing purveyors of a particular genre, who often never attain the recognition they deserve. Perhaps these stalwarts will continue to churn out acceptable releases, and may one day put a wide grin on the face of a crate digger in Dalston when said genre (see: deep house) is suddenly in retro-vogue. On the other hand you have the victims of the hype machine; artists who drown in a swamp of critical opinion, desperate to discover the most tired of clichés: ‘the next big thing’.
It could be too early to tell, but French producer Moiré appears to be dipping a toe into the hype machine whilst retaining a healthy fear of it. On the strength of his first EP ‘Never Sleep’ (on Actress’ Werkdiscs label), he was quickly tapped by Radio 1’s Benji B for a guest mix. It was sink or swim for Moiré, but from the looks of his sophomore EP, it seems that he’s coping admirably. ‘ROLX’ (pronounced Rol-ex, like the watch), released on the prestigious Rush Hour imprint, flexes a few more dancefloor muscles with impressively polished tracks, and has already seen DJ support from the likes of Laurent Garnier, Frank Wiedemann & Jacques Greene to name a few.
The EP, dubbed “London techno” by the producer, saddles up with intro track ‘I Don’t Get It’. The tune leads with chords that sonically resemble the hum of some mysterious, ancient mechanism – building to a flurry of alien vocal snippets and elegantly drawn textures. Next up title track ‘Rolx‘ builds on a taut stab pattern, offset by imposing pads. It’s all punctuated by clicks and subtle textures alongside a consistent bass groove. The track struts and spits – threatening to burst out but never quite satisfying the listener with a climax. While the restrained cut lacks a grand finale, the lucid, disturbing composition prepares the listener for what’s to come.
Payoff comes in the form of undoubted highlight ‘Real Special.’ Booting up with a deep 4-4 kick, it is unashamedly over-compressed, bit crushed with an irresistible swagger. Later a pulsating synth pattern starts to move you before dropping into a terrifying vocal line, an obscene FM bass periodically rising from the deep to kickstart the groove. The unsettling roller is completed by swung-out, unquantised percussion, closing this impressive release and leaving you reaching for the repeat button.