"As you would expect from Workshop, this is no rote journey through meandering deep house, there is an instinctual will guiding the tracks on their journey"
When a distinctly un-showy label such as Workshop issue a double gatefold LP, you know it is time to shift in your chair, sit up, and take notice. Henrik Jonsson’s PST project sprawls ‘Workshop 31‘ over six tracks, fusing drifting, dusty house with percussion so languid that it hovers perilously on the kerb of the beat.
As you would expect from Workshop, this is no rote journey through meandering deep house, there is an instinctual will guiding the tracks on their journey. Opener ‘Take One‘ is a mammoth twelve and a half minute excursion, bypassing such concepts as a mere first beat of the bar drop of the kick into a breakdown. Here, they fade away and return on a whim. The way every element is represented feels like walking along with a group of friends in the middle of conversation, the thread of what you can hear shifting as they pull away and return, hang back and catch up.
Fusion is a key to many of the albums highlights – such as the blend of 1950’s sci-fi and crooning jazz on ‘Tati‘, or the meeting of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and Black Ark Studio with Delia Derbyshire and Lee Scratch Perry at the controls on ‘Limbic Soirée‘.
However, it is the chug of 120 BPM-and-below house tempos on ‘Open Air‘ and ‘Choices In Paradise‘ – complete with their warm analogue arpeggios and never-ending space echoes – that are the most endearing. ‘Workshop 31‘ is as emphatic as the label gets, never fireworks but embracing with smouldering, warm embers.
‘Workshop 31’ is out now via Workshop. Order a copy from Hardwax.
A1. Take One
B1. Choices In Paradise
B2. Limbic Soirée
C1. Open Air
D2. Enantiodromia (Summer of 2020 Mix)