You probably shouldn't operate heavy machinery when listening to Lady Blacktronika. Her music doesn't send you to sleep, but for the way it idles so lazily, it certainly slows your heart while surreptitiously seizing control of your mind's eye. It takes time—hence tracks being six, seven and ten minutes long—but it does happen. "The E's Have It" is the longest thing here and, yes, it recalls the usual ramshackle Detroit specialists (KDJ, Theo Parish) but so too does it swagger as slowly and, through the reinforcement of repetition, compellingly as Cottam's most elongated work.
Like the Preston man, Blacktronika casually chucks in torn-edged samples—vocals, shakers, starry keys—for a minute here; a few bars there, building in aged, loose and hypnotic layers. The vast, voluminous kicks below trudge like a lazy hippo, while the ones that bolster "Black Girl (Slo-mo mix)" aren't so obviously oversized. They form the rolling undercarriage on to which livelier, less lethargic samples are loosely pinned for varying lengths of time. Here pads bleed out behind an echoing vocal refrain of "black girl" with various cowbells, glockenspiels, triangles and tambourines tinkling their own trance-inducing pattern in the foreground.
The quicker, alternative deep house mix still goes "black girl" quite a lot, but here the beats and bass have been muddled together into the sort of murky, shuffling deep house-cum-techno that DJ Qu is known for. Importantly, it's got just as much attitude as her slower stuff: First Lady of Beatdown she may be, but First Lady of Deep House isn't that far wrong either.
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Tracklist: Lady Blacktronika - Black Girl EP A1 Black Girl (Slomo Mix)
A2 Black Girl (Deep House Mix)
B The E's Have It