It makes sense that DJ Sprinkles (Terre Thaemlitz) and SND's Mark Fell would work together. Both artists have invested much of their work in theory and conceptual elaboration—certainly more so than most "club music" producers—and, beyond that, both have a similar knack for turning out unusually, even unnaturally pristine sounds. Think of the enforced sterility of SND's funk in a vacuum, or the hyper-defined hi-hats of Sprinkles' "Midtown 120 Blues," so crisp they sound like clipping artifacts. They're not so much minimalists as fetishists, sculpting each sound until it's as hard and as brilliant as an industrially produced diamond.
Here, they apply themselves to pumping, two-chord house so classic that you might mistake it for "generic." But that sense of over-familiarity is part of the bait-and-switch. "Say It Slowly (N.U.M. Mix)" twists up the old preacher-vocals trope, utilizing an impassioned, anti-capitalist speech from Arthur Scargill, head of Britain's Socialist Labour Party and the president of the National Union of Mineworkers during their historic strike in 1984-85. It doesn't beat you over the head, though: Like the voiceovers on Sprinkles' 2009 LP Midtown 120 Blues, Scargill's voice is mixed low, compelling you to lean in and listen closer. It's politics as seduction. In place of Scargill's speech, the "Hee-Haw Remix" employs part-comic, part-creepy wails, suggesting the diva as a kind of scary clown figure, but without taking anything away from the serious pleasure of their crisply stepping organ groove.
"Complete Spiral" takes up the entire B-side with 12-and-a-half minutes of trim machine drumming and fluid synthesizers, threaded by an almost subliminal hint of vocals. Again, it's a resolutely classic affair evoking the luminous deep house of the late '90s and early '00s; I'm reminded of Luomo's Vocalcity, though there's a crispness and even a bluntness here that stands apart from Luomo's gauzy productions. Whatever references you bring to it, it's a mesmerizing, enveloping excursion into the mechanics of form at its most sensual.
Tracklist: DJ Sprinkles & Mark Fell - Complete Spiral EPA1 Say It Slowly (N.U.M. Mix)
A2 Say It Slowly (Hee-Haw Mix)
B Complete Spiral
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