Erol Alkan's Phantasy Sound imprint is the perfect place for Daniel Avery. Catching the tail end of the electroclash wave through a DJ residency at a Bournemouth venue run by the Filthy Dukes, Avery's gradual transition from upstart indie DJ to eclectic dance floor selector with a fabric residency has followed a similar trajectory to Alkan's own.
In production terms, Avery's schtick is analogue machine music whose simplicity is its strength; rock solid techno constructions destabilised by psychedelic flourishes. But if we've learnt anything from Avery's recent form, it's that he's capable of pulling some pretty nasty warehouse moves on us—heads-down stormer "Movement," from his EP on Throne Of Blood; the gnarly "Input//Machine" on Relish—and Need Electric doesn't disappoint in that respect.
The title track brings the goods, its bassline turning crisp electro somersaults while odd synth drones swoop across the stereo field. Deadpan vocal samples are a regular fixture in the Avery universe, and the female voice here intones "his experience." "Taste," meanwhile, indulges Avery's melodic side with a stilted machine-vocal chorale providing the hook over its soot-blackened electro framework. The way the bassline spirals and arpeggiates, only occasionally dipping into trouser-flapping sub territory, is a master class in restraint.
"One in the Wave" is the weak point, a po-faced synth interlude that doesn't quite hold the attention. But closer "The Eagle" redeems things: Avery seizes the opportunity to wear his post-punk fandom on his sleeve with a sultry hybrid number whose egregiously twangy bass guitar line recalls the modish dance floors of post-disco New York. What's striking here, and across the EP, is Avery's control of his machines—each track is finely tuned, balanced and optimised for maximum impact with a minimum of materials.
Buy Daniel Avery - Need Electric at
Tracklist: Daniel Avery - Need Electric A1 Need Electric
B1 One In The Wave
B2 The Eagle