Various Nummer Een

Compiled and released by Ottawa's Phonics folks, the aptly titled Nummer Een collects 11 tracks previously found as vinyl-only releases (if at all) on the Netherlands' Dub Recordings. Don't let the "dub" fool ya though; this is no roots release - the experiments here are strictly electronic. The six contributing artists do, however, tread a lot of different turf, from the angrier abstractions of Funckarma's "Spatial Convolution" to Duracel's industrial-influenced "Sarah & Julie" and Duplex's more traditional techno number, "Above the Arctic Circle." An early Detroit sensibility is woven throughout this thick, mature groover. Funckarma strip it down and manage to climb inside one's head, via the striking "Ghetto Inside." Phako kick starts "Reform" with edgy beats that give way to lighter, almost melodic keys; it's the interplay and mood shifts that make this one special. Anyone who simulates steel pan sounds and rides them over fragmented, distorted beats and noise - all while keeping a groove - rocks in my book. EOG are the real find here, with the lovely, melancholic "Aloe Vera" positively brimming with emotion in its own minimalist manner and the deep "Track 3" catching a fantastic old school synth vibe. (Phonics)