Chicagoan in London Dan Berkson takes time out from co-producing with his partner James What for a solo effort on Damian Lazarus' imprint. Last year saw the pair release 'Cantina' and 'The Dig' on Poker Flat, both of which were minimal house outings of dubbed out grooves with scant traces of melody – the stuff might be ubiquitous these days, but Berkson & What’s efforts were useful. Yet like any good collab, the outcome differ does when one half is not in town.
A-side 'The Hollow' contains a vague melodic twist which at first hints at something worthwhile, but unfortunately Berkson draws it out until boredom sets in. The bassline and rhythm are a little too minimised – what’s missing is an edge or a spark to it. Still, there’s enough substance for it deserve a spin or two when the punters are filing in – but that’s not much of a recommendation, is it?
On a spookier tip, 'Circuits' loses the trance-lite feel of side A and sidles up to something akin to minimal funk. A stabbing chord links a pulsing low end, throw in a horny organ and there's a real chance of this tune getting a dancefloor on its toes. It has an edge. But again, you can’t help feeling that the same idea is dragged on too long. Nevertheless, this will no doubt see some love in a dark, smoky place where all the naughty kids go.
Like Joalz & Eddie Da Silva's 'Don't Close Your Eyes' on the label, this doesn't quite hit the mark. Could we have another Hiem 'She's the One' next time, Crosstown?
Tracklist: Dan Berkson - The Hollow/CircuitsA The Hollow