Though this is their first release as Fokus Group, Ben Sims and Paul Mac are regular collaborators. In addition to Mac working as Sim's studio engineer, their joint discography ranges from the tribal rhythms of their work as Killa Productions with Mark Broom, to the barrelling techno of the One Legged Disco EP. And though this first appearance for Untold's Pennyroyal—the more techno minded imprint the Hemlock boss set up earlier this year—consists of predictably uncompromising techno, it's shot through with nods to their shared rave heritage.
Compared to the explicit jungle references of acts like Special Request or Tessela, the breakbeats that roll through "Mucky Crack Funk" are subtle, only emerging in the breakdowns from behind snarling synths. Mostly, though, it's thudding kicks and snare rolls that dominate this EP, whether they're barreling through the title track's beehive buzzing or blasting through the white noise that clouds "Rave X3 = Murder." Though undeniably powerful, it's the kind of ever-harder machismo that sucked away techno's creativity 20 years ago. It comes across as especially regressive compared to Pennyroyal's releases from J. Tijn and Boner M, which toyed with this breed of boshing techno in novel ways.
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Tracklist: Fokus Group - Nut Nut A1 Nut Nut
A2 Mucky Crack Funk
B2 Rave X3 = Murder