The first release from the vinyl-only Blank Slate opens with "Griswold" from Michigan producer North Lake. It features a strong acid line that navigates through varying degrees of pressure for almost the entire seven minutes, climbing up steady 808 peaks and then sharply falling back to earth. The output of Novel Sound seems to be an influence, and while "Griswold" may not match the genius simplicity of Levon Vincent's work, it's still an infectious and attention-grabbing cut.
By contrast, Arnaldo's "Family" has an entire section of the track lurking in the shadows. The result is an atmospheric and deep sound that borders on the hypnotic but may leave some listeners wanting more. B-sides "Untitled" by Mirko and "Hokus" by QY showcase more quality, with the low synth stabs on "Untitled" leading to a flurry of well-executed snare and claps. Meanwhile "Hokus" steadily grinds forward, with rain-splash percussion sitting beneath the low grumble of thunder for the duration. Blank Slate 001 is a well-realised debut for the label. If it's an attempt to establish their manifesto, they should consider it a success.
Tracklist: Various - Blank Slate 001A1 North Lake - Griswold
A2 Arnaldo - Family
B1 Mirko - Untitled
B2 QY - Hokus