Heatsick is Steven Warwick, a Berlin-based presence on the cassette and CDR underground since 2006. As with many of his contemporaries, the last couple of years have seen Warwick's music drift into dancier climes, foregrounding percussion and drawing on the sonic signifiers of established dance music forms. It's a kind of outsider infatuation with dance floor dynamics that's fast congealing into a scene centred around labels like 100% Silk—but that's also entering into increasingly prolonged flirtations with more established dance institutions (as evidenced by Warwick's forthcoming release on Rush Hour).
The producer returns to the PAN label for the Déviation EP, a record that perfectly reflects the artist's name: like the woozy stickiness of a day on a roof terrace in full glare of the sun, this music is in some sense luxurious but in another faintly torturous, unnatural. And above all sluggish—for the first half at least. Opener "Déviation" builds slowly into a MIDI guitar groove that you can't help but smirk at, while "C'était un Rendez-Vous" trades on a slack, disco-ish shuffle. All the parts sound hand-played: shakers drift in and out of time; chords fall slightly early or late; at points the whole thing threatens to come apart at the seams before being pulled back into shape. The result is appealingly loose and grainy, giving off a similar bedroom-auteur vibe to early Chicago house.
"The Stars Down to Earth" and "No Fixed Address" are both built around a more rambunctious syncopation. The former forges determinedly on as a dense thicket of synths do weird things in the background, before dropping out to reveal a loop of vocals and plaintive woodwind seemingly smuggled in from a totally different emotional space. The latter is almost straight-up party music, like a ramshackle carnival built on cheap hardware, but there's still something unsettling lurking just under the surface.
Tracklist: Heatsick - Deviation EPA1 Deviation
A2 Cetait Un Rendez-Vous
B1 The Stars Down to Earth
B2 No Fixed Address