When Richard Attley's Shortstuff moniker gave way to his incarnation as Mickey Pearce, a distinct sound quickly took shape around the handle, one that was tougher, heavier, and more sharply focused on rhythms. Pearce's first outing for Doc Daneeka's Ten Thousand Yen imprint stays true to these principles with a pair of immense, machine-minded club tunes.
Like the few pieces of Mickey Pearce audio that were already in existence, both "Tempted (F+ck Tonto Edit)" and "Softly Softly" sound meticulously built. There is no room for error between the booming kicks and machine-made percussion, and the squeals of abused gear and clanking metals implemented here are arranged into perfect patterns around the tracks' larger elements. The entire single has the feeling of technology being pushed to the edge—the compression is heavy handed, and most of the sounds are rendered crisp and gritty, with the faintest touches of distortion and/or tweaked filters giving them a menacing edge. In sheer sonic power, the songs bear a resemblance to fellow UK beatmsith Blawan. Both artists seem capable of conjuring otherworldly bits of percussion—sounds that are not necessarily space-age but are instead too overpowering in sound and hyper focused in detail to have come from our natural world. But where Blawan's massive bits of audio can be (by design) somewhat sludgy, Pearce is precise, his elements only touching at their clearly defined edges, never mixing with or blurring the others.
Still, this single isn't entirely made up of big drum bravado; "Tempted (F+ck Tonto Edit)" lands on a spacious breakdown of Basic Channel-style chords around its halfway mark, and "Softly Softly" reveals hints of musicality in its tuned percussion and thick bassline. Furthermore, the pair of tunes is touched with an intelligent yet natural-sounding balance, as Pearce manages to shuffle the patterns, highlight movements, and build momentum like some all-seeing Wizard of Oz-type character, orchestrating behind the curtain to the benefit of an unwitting audience. In the end, it's another quality outing from Mickey Pearce, one designed to push sound systems to their full potential for the appreciation of forward-thinking dancefloors.