Jay Weed's 2010 debut found a home on Oneman's sadly short-lived 502 imprint, as part of a dazzling run that included twelves from Fis-T and Teeth. At that point, Weed's brand of high-grade UK funky tempered with the meditative weight of early DMZ was a welcome contribution to a scene still amenable to fresh mutations. Now he returns, following a period of inactivity, with the inaugural single for 2084—an offshoot to a booking agency of the same name, and the latest addition to Tom Kerridge's hefty portfolio of labels alongside Ramp, Brainmath and Fourth Wave.
Tunnel sees Weed overhaul his distinctive style while retaining his trademarks. Present, still, is the obsessive detailing, the miniscule percussive twitches that make the difference between a dull beat and a seductive one. But gone are the reedy melodics of "The Naos" or "On the Nile," replaced with a hard-edged metallic bassline and vocal snippet of which Boddika would be proud. It's a finely judged affair, but isn't without a troublesome whiff of familiarity—it almost feels like a capitulation to current concerns, as if Weed is now trailing behind the zeitgeist rather than continuing to set it. Kansas producer Huerco S's reworking, meanwhile, is an entirely different beast: a battered, limping house jam built around the original's vocal sample and thick, smoky chords. It's a neat counterpoint to the A-side, but also an unfortunate reminder of what a fresh idea really sounds like.
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Tracklist: Jay Weed - Tunnel A Tunnel
B Tunnel (Huerco S Remix)