Thursday, 11 August 2011

Cabin Fever Trax Vol. 18 (RKDS018)

The Rekids imprint has marked the 18th edition of its retro-house series of 12”s, Cabin Fever, by drafting in revered producer and label associate Mr. G for an outing. The Cabin Fever run has provided a number of class productions over the past three years since its conception in September 2008, staying true to its roots in straight house and techno experiments with each of its 17 previous releases. The latest addition doesn’t waver from this tradition, with label associate Mr. G delivering a record that is a perfect match for the sound Cabin Fever has carefully developed.

The record opens with ‘They Say They Play House’ on the A-side, immediately evoking a deep and soulful vibe. A firm four to the floor beat kicks away, uncompromising in its persistence. The tough rhythm is juxtaposed suitably by the alternating two key notes that tentatively gain ascendancy, timidly working beneath the pulsating rolling bassline. The rhythm contains subtle variations to keep things interesting, intermittently incorporating razor sharp hats and unremitting snares. It’s not so much the presence of these deviations that are so valuable, but their timing that renders them so effective. This is especially true in the case of the introduction of supple claps which delivers the track its full groove, timely in the moments leading up to the central vocal sample. The voice of an older African-American man resonates (as previously heard on Efdemin’s ‘Just A Track’), preaching the importance of the style he defines as “a feeling”. This is an altogether all too familiar component of many house records, but ‘They Say They Play House’ avoids such cliché in the manner it presents the voice, backed by an imposing rhythm and a stirring melody.

Whilst utilising a similar formula, the resulting sound on the flip is quite a contrast from the opener. ‘The Thin Blue Line’ is a more tense and upfront affair, closer to the analogue techno of The Analogue Cops at Restoration rather than the deep house induced on ‘They Say They Play House’. Raw 4/4 kicks are met by a determined bassline that continually wears away. Pointed hats contribute a sharper edge, a feature which is matched brilliantly by the nervous motif the incisive chord stabs generate. The track patiently develops in such fashion, building in anxiety with every clashing snare and the repetitive yet indecipherable vocal sample.

Cabin Fever Trax Vol. 18 represents what we’ve all come to love and expect from the Rekids series. Some may lament the distinct and unchanging direction; however, Mr. G delivers an impressive two track 12”, warming you up with deeper sounds on ‘They Say They Play House’ whilst making you restless with the edgy and raw B-side. Pressed on white marbled vinyl and completed with a thin blue line.

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