Mixed Signals continue their mission to uncover essentials from the esoteric edges of dance music’s past – with two new missives, MS07 and MS08. The former is a rescued rap release, straight outta late `80s Chicago. Four tracks produced in the bedroom of ELV, aka Eric Davis, with rhymes provided by Chuck Prater, aka Chuk Chu. The music is totally machine-made – inspired by Art Of Noise and Kraftwerk – and sounds more like pitched down house or techno, than the hip hop then coming out of New York. The E.P.`s stretched synth tones had me thinking of G-Strings` Land Of Dreams.
Clattering beats back battle rhymes. There are no bitten breaks, but instead sparse arrangements programmed on Roland`s budget silver boxes. The instrumental, Silent Is The E, is a speedy, lo-fi, sci-fi, chase score. The slo-mo Whatcha Need rides an undulating bottom end pulse, countered, jazzed, by a faux, computerized, contrabass line. Slick and lyrically seductive, it should slot right in with the current global vogue / obsession with indie street soul.
The second 12 resurrects a rare release from the enigmatic, “electronic iconoclast”, Dennis Weise, the sometime, Dr. Wize – who back in 2018 was the focus of a fucking far-out comp on Finders Keepers (Soft Rocks` Chris Galloway recommended the record to me as “Krautrock made and mixed by Black Ark era Lee “Scratch” Perry”). The Finders Keepers retrospective collects Weise`s work from the late `70s and early `80s, while Mixed Signals` Corps Of Discovery dates from 2001. Collaborating with then wife, Czara, and friends, Ra and Angel, Weise here offers up a quartet of cherry-picked cuts that run from Eye Opener`s clattering, steely, metallic, skittering, skidding, drum and bass, to the house meets rock raga of the tribal Loving Java Scripts.
These are pace-y, percussive, raw, dance rituals where psychedelic gated synths and full-on freak guitar temper the thumping. Where big digidub b-lines, and organic, fresh water-like ripples, didgeridoo drones, off-set the pounding. On the LSD trip / dream-like Yogi & The Fish juice harp and appropriately aquatic bubbling SFX accompany the breakneck beat. Net Surfers reduces the couples` vocals to double-tracked vapour. The song`s simple hook of “love me”, hypnotizing – as if blown in on a wind from Bali Hai. Disorientating, deceptively deep, and groovin` without a doubt.
You can pre-order both of these E.P.s, by Corps Of Discovery and Me & E, directly from Mixed Signals.