Nick Sinna Voyager EP (Remixes)
Mancunian producer Nick Sinna debuted in June with the Voyager EP. Its four tracks were, like many releases on the Prime Numbers imprint, largely informed by Detroit's dance music legacy. But where the likes of Trus'me and Linkwood draw from the house blueprints of Moodymann and the Detroit Beatdown crew, Sinna is principally informed by another side of the city. Tracks like the titular, storming opener, with its propulsive electro patterns, dramatic synth washes, and murmured refrain of "outer space," recalled an early style of techno that has perhaps fallen by the wayside in recent years. Granted, there were glimpses of other genres throughout—"Kick The Habit" was laced with a repeating Mikey Dread sample, probably a throwback to Sinna's days in drum & bass—but overall, the glory days of Detroit techno loomed large. The two turns on Voyager EP (Remixes) find rich possibilities in this influence.
Although James T Cotton (a.k.a. Tadd Mullinix) hails from nearby Ann Arbor, Detroit's luminaries have clearly made their mark on his powerful productions. His remix of "Voyager" keeps parts of the original's astral groove intact, namely its jerky bounce and the vocal refrain. Sinna's synths drift in delay, but Mullinix molds them into taut, cyclical movements, reminiscent of tracks by second wavers like Claude Young in the way they form a silvery tunnel around the drums. On the flip, Dutch producer Conforce (a.k.a. Boris Bunnik) delivers a typically muscular take on "Real Time." Unlike Mullinix, Bunnik brings Sinna's material firmly into his own universe, recalling the sounds his own 24 EP and last year's Escapism LP. The track melds a thudding, filtered kick drum with scuffed hi-hats and square, acidic bass, and locks this blunt arrangement into a hip-swiveling, if slightly sinister, groove. Bunnik modulates the elements by one another, and deploys a smothered, scrambled vocal as a kind of hook, but for the most part, the track seems content to simmer in the murk. Divergent as their versions are, Mullinix and Bunnik would surely agree that Sinna's sense of futurism—throwback though it may be—is worth emphasizing.
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