It's seemingly been an age since we last heard from veteran Scottish producer Vince Watson. But judging by the results, it was well worth the wait. Recorded in 2004, this 12-inch certainly recalls prime-era Watson, namely 2005's Echoes from the Future: View to the Past.
Of the three tracks on offer, there's no doubt most people will head straight for the A-side and get stuck there. 'Ethereal' is a 14-minute juggernaut of taut, muscular techno with a slippery layer of electro dub jetting and squirting on top. The track is built around a solid 4-4 kick drum, syncopated snares, and a single, metallic sounding power chord that repeats unrelentingly. Watson just lets them run while he gradually builds up (and down) a progressive and multi-part journey on top, separating sections with breakdowns and airy breathing spaces. While the bottom end may be heavy and fairly rigid, the top end works a beautiful contrast and is totally fluid and psychedelic. There is no doubt where the ethereal elements of the title lie.
The two tracks on the flipside don't even bother to compete. The two minute excerpt version of 'Ethereal' plays softer, almost at a distance, but is little more than incidental after the monstrous length and depth of the original. 'Spores' has more to offer, even if it is not danceable. Taking a cue from the phase compositions of minimalist composers Steve Reich and Philip Glass, it sprays rapid overlapping chimes one on top of the other at shifting speeds and tones for seven minutes. The result is a disorientating Doppler effect that is elegant and well made, but somehow not exactly satisfying. The problem is not that it is not good, only that almost nothing could fill the immense hunger for something more physical that 'Ethereal' leaves in its wake.
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Tracklist: Vince Watson - EtherealA Ethereal
B2 Ethereal (Excerpt)