Six years after their first release, the cult Workshop label is as strong as ever. Following up on the comparatively high-profile Magic Mountain High EP earlier in the year, Workshop 15 compiles four untitled tracks by a mostly unknown cast.
808 Mate's effort melds a hip-hop influenced prance with a purposeful, gleaming melody that recalls Joakim's anthemic remix of Antena's "Camino Del Sol." Marcellis tones things down with a prototypically narcotic Workshop cut, as its shifty, low-slung arrangement underscores a vocalist's bluesy, mumbling croon. The flip offers slightly more familiar faces. Schweiz Rec., who previously appeared on Workshop 10, contributes a techy, Playhouse-style burner, complete with tight, choppy Rhodes edits and a rumblingly funky bassline.
The finale is given to prolific Swedes Frak. After several decades of under-the-radar activity, the trio have been undergoing a serious reappraisal this year, and for good reason—their jerky, minimalist approach is both old-school and very peculiar. Their track repeats a simple, coarse melody above a slow-motion thump, and while a theremin-like tone fluctuates in the background, the duo make sporadic attempts to screw with the other elements. Unassuming as these artists may be, the variation on this EP proves that Workshop still feels the pulse of the European underground.
Buy Various Artists - Workshop 15 at
Tracklist: Various Artists - Workshop 15 A1 808 Mate - A1
A2 Marcellis - A2
B1 Schweiz Rec - B1
B2 Frak - B2