Forget everything you thought you knew about Jack Dixon. Well, almost everything. The fact that the formerly London, now Berlin-based producer has risen at a considerable rate amongst the bass-music ranks has largely come with little surprise; his understated, techno-touched tracks stood out early on and have progressed nicely over a string of solo and collaborative EPs. But the dancefloor weight and force which mark his debut for the Hotflush imprint certainly weren't expected and—even better—contribute to what is one of his most impressive efforts to date.
What's surprising about "E" and "Find Shelter" is not necessarily that Dixon has altogether rebooted his style. In fact, a lot of what made the man's productions so appealing before is still here—the crisp and polished elements, the lush synth tones, and the subtle touches of almost Balearic warmth are all present. However, Dixon folds these familiar elements into a much sharper package, one that's packed with more loaded low end and a much more direct dancefloor aim. On this single, it seems Dixon has gone from making dancefloor-inspired music to music clearly intended for club DJ usage, and not just in the closing, more reflective hours of the night.
The jump from Dixon's last release, the You Won't Let Me EP, to a-side "E" is the easiest one to make. Not unlike his past efforts, shuffling, house-appropriate percussion and a slow build of thick, glowing chords lead the charge, met quickly by a perfectly tuned and rounded bassline. In some ways, "E" is reminscent of Julio Bashmore's "Ribble To Amazon" in the way it pushes and pulls between the builds of housey chords and deliciously heavy bass drops. Still, Dixon's track somehow comes off as an altogether smoother and more refined outing, infused with just the right touch of techno drive (and a tongue-in-cheek "C'mon" Diddy sample). "Find Shelter," the single's b-side cut, indulges even further into Dixon's techno side, piecing together a churning 120-plus-bpm beat with an intricate pattern of sequenced chords, syncopated bass, and even some scratched female vocals (it really works though).
With "E" and "Find Shelter," Dixon has not landed on any anthems per se, but he has crafted two songs that find a solid balance between intelligence and subtlety, while still maintaining widespread dancefloor capabilities. Our eyes and ears have been locked on Dixon's continuing rise, and the pair of tunes heard here speak volumes to his undeniable potential as a producer.