“Do you know anything about techno?” / “No…” Following the highly recommended Preparations For Departure EP by Yu Su, New York’s premiere imprint of boogie-noir dips into the Pacific Northwest once again for this 5-track slab of analogue bliss from Portland’s Wyatt Schaffner aka Soul Ipsum. After a string of cult cassettes and CD-Rs, Schaffner makes his debut on wax on one of the finest labels going, and it’s his most distilled work to date. The expert modern funk of side one opener “Gumshoe” is a bucket of cold water dumped on the head of anyone who was getting used to all the killer house music Arcane’s been putting out lately, calling to mind highly collectable and funky sides by Jamma Dee and Benedek from the label’s early days. Three free-floating house grooves of varying shapes and sizes (“Empty Jester,” “La Vuelta,” “Scenepin/Ugatz”) are slotted in for your dancing pleasure, featuring an array of heavenly pads, syrupy synth bass and expertly-deployed samples that Schaffner and his Pac-NW comrades do so well. Closing out the offering is a swinging slice of wooden two-step (“Snow Clap”), briefly teasing snippets of shiny DX-7 jazz licks and Juno pads before they’re washed away in the Oregon rain. There’s a tantalizing spread of styles and tempos on offer, and we could easily see all five of these tracks slipping out over the course of a night. Limited edition vinyl-only pressing, no digital; recommended.
- exclusive vinyl-only release
- limited edition
- music label: Arcane 2018
reviewed by edward james almost 06/2018