Whether or not you recognize his name, it's possible that you already know Daniel Avery. Up through last year, the London-based DJ and Fabric resident was releasing jubilant analog house singles and remixes as Stopmakingme. He's since reverted to his birth name, putting out the Airstrike EP on Relish Recordings earlier this year. The follow-up EP, Movement, is his first for New York label Throne of Blood, and is largely subtler and less flashy than his previous work. While Avery's tunes are deep, infectious, and wholly club appropriate, they are particularly gratifying as head music—dipping, peaking, and weaving with an eccentric, quietly focused flair.
"Light Into Dark" opens the record with a piece of stuttering house that gradually and gracefully grows more cosmic as it proceeds. Contrary to its title, the track unfolds from dark to light, laying the bass on thick as it shifts from eerie synths to a more bubbly and banging coda. The following cut, arguably the EP's highlight, is the thoroughly acid "Flashlights," a sleek, contemplative techno throwback filled with tasteful bass drops and hook after hook. Three-quarters of the way through, dreamy keyboards and synths gently lift everything up, complicating the groove and enhancing the track's power as a hypnotic head rush.
Avery's unconventional instincts are most apparent on "Movement." Halfway into the proceedings, he abandons the song's minimal, buzzy melody and flips the whole thing on its head. This move unlocks the track's infectious core before the opening melody is gradually reintroduced in a scratchier acid context. A most unconventional track deserves nothing less than an equally unconventional, disorienting remix, and we get one care of legendary DJ/producer (and apparent Avery influence) Andrew Weatherall. In Weatherall's hands, "Movement" receives a ticking, heavily dubbed reworking, one that's considerably slower than the original and as psychedelic, grinding, and charming as the veteran artist's most esteemed work.
The remix is excellent, but it's the three incredibly different originals here that make the depth of Avery's talent very clear—his sound is cerebral but sweet, with melodies and unusual, compelling production choices that feel fresh and original in any listening context.