Jack Dixon is both the given name and artist moniker of an exciting London-based producer operating under the ever-expanding umbrella of contemporary house, techno, and garage music. Though he's released a small handful of fine singles and EPs over the last couple of years, the four-track Knowledge record finds Dixon topping himself on all fronts. The individual tunes are each more defined—with wide variations on elements of lush atmospherics, shuffling rhythms, and dropouts into deep introspection—but remain entirely cohesive. It would seem that even though the UK artist is still looking for his own style, he is heading in a straight line towards the point of acquiring an artistic identity.
The all-encompassing vibe of these four productions is more or less what we've been hearing from Hotflush's roster in the past few years. More specifically, Dixon's tunes sound like the work of label boss Paul Rose. The first of the bunch, "Jessica," is a bulbous slice of rolling tech-house that comes off as an outtake from Scuba's excellent Triangulation LP, albeit more direct and less moody. Standout cuts "You Old" and "Ironside" both go straight for an updated dub-techno template, à la SCB, but with enough haze drifting around in the peripherals to help fill in the odd rhythmic crack. And Dixon plays with some slow-burning dancefloor heat on "60 Miles," which is as ready as anything to pick up where Rose left off when he re-discovered '80s electro and freestyle on "Everywhere," the b-side to his recent "Adrenalin" single.
That's not all to say the Knowledge EP is an exercise in sonic plagiarism; Dixon largely excels when it comes to crafting fresh sounds for use in his high-quality productions. His drums are at once eclectic and familiar—the best for setting an inviting mood in a club—while remaining unique to each track. Vocal samples are treated more like sparse, flitty synths, as the producer often utilizes the note of one syllable before sending it through a gauntlet of spacey effects. On Knowledge, it's apparent that Dixon knows what he wants to achieve and how to get there; we're just listening to another step in his gradual process.
Preview the Knowledge EP: