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Willie Burns: Woo Right! EP

Thanks to some recent choice releases on The Trilogy Tapes and L.I.E.S., William Burnett seems to be quietly carving a name for himself. Even though the term ‘outsider house’ is used in the most mocking of tones, Burnett embodies the spirit of it through and through; his day job centres around working at a New York thrift store called The Thing – which is home to a labyrinthine collection of second hand vinyl – with his production work coming from a boxy DiY studio crammed with vintage synths.

Of course tools don’t make the man and the trademark dusty aesthetic that permeates his hypnotic productions is what has been shifting vinyl into the hands of the appreciative.  The Woo Right EP sees Burnett make a debut on the anything goes Unknown To The Unknown imprint, this pairing of the idiosyncratic being the most straightforward aspect of this combination between the pair.

Thematically, the EP works with the same sort of split as his recent Tab Of Acid EP, with terse techno sitting alongside watercolour bliss. Regarding the tougher elements, any child of the late 70’s and early 80’s will identify with the rising panic in opener The Heaviest Elements, coming across like a techno adaptation of the classic march that was the Space Invaders FX-cum-soundtrack.

Burnett also proves he is adept at turning norms on their heads; much as Tab Of Acid took the 303 from its usual bubbling intensity into shrill fragility, Woo Right takes every single trope from well-trodden mid-nineties house and thoroughly misuses it. The all too familiar organ bassline becomes densely layered and fires with machine gun frequency, while a Black Box-esque “WOO RIGHT!” vocal doesn’t so much sing out as throatily bark. There is no comforting nostalgia to reminisce in here.

However, the highlights are undoubtedly those dewy hypnotic moments. Fast Times At Long Island City High reigns in a lost sounding shoegaze melody into an early morning sunrise moment, while Adverbs And Adjectives runs a stuttering parallel to Orbital’s Chime, the melodic stabs here merging into a dense mist with the odd strand peeking out every now and again from behind the wispy curtain.

By all reports, 2014 is set to be the game changer for William Burnett, launching him from boutique label curio into buy on sight producer. As long as he keeps tapping into the cerebral along with the physical, while retaining his unique identity, there is absolutely nothing here to dispute that statement.

Discover more about Willie Burns and Unknown To The Unknown on Inverted Audio.