Gerry Read "Crave" b/w "Enjoy A Day Out"
While the specifics of his background and identity are still somewhat hazy, at this point it should be crystal clear why UK producer Gerry Read is a talent worth keeping a very close eye on. His ongoing partnership with Ramp offshoot Fourth Wave has proved to be one of the more fruitful working relationships in contemporary electronic music, allowing space for Read's creative, humanized take on house and techno to develop naturally across the course of several 12"s and an excellent full-length LP (or two, if you count March's super-limited Saucepan Jams Vol. 1.) This latest outing for the label sees Read developing his style further, stepping ever-so-slightly away from his more headphone-oriented comfort zone to create a pair of tracks built around the meatier, dancefloor-ready template of classic Chicago house.
"Crave" is a wonderfully sluggish, churning take on the bare-bones sampler/drum machine formula. Read builds the production out of simplistic chord samples, white noise hi-hats, and a relaxed, subby bass lick, then creates movement by layering on filters that shift around the frequency spectrum in a manner akin to a cassette tape that's been left out in the sun. It's hardly revolutionary stuff, but as with the majority of Read's work, everything hangs together with a brilliantly earthy, natural quality that's often difficult to find in club music.
B-side "Enjoy A Day Out", meanwhile, is a construction of rhythmic loops that intersect to create a buoyant, heavily swung beat out of unintelligible vocal syllables and abruptly sliced instrument samples. At its opening, the mesmeric rhythm and abrupt timbral changes tread familiar territory, akin to much of Read's full-length debut Jummy, but around the three-minute mark, a surprisingly direct kick-and-hat rhythm propels the tune into far livelier territory. It pushes the track squarely in the direction of the dancefloor, providing a solid, deceptively funky backbone around which Read expands on the sampled backdrop with a host of melodic, mid-range synths. As with the a-side, it's hardly a complete reinvention when compared to either Read's previous outings or his vintage house influences. The adoption of danceable drum-machine rhythms seems like a good direction for him to move in though and if nothing else, this latest pair of tunes is a pleasant illustration that, as a producer, he's still got plenty to give.
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