Luke-Hess has been DJing since around the year 2000, but has only ramped into high gear as a producer fairly recently. He's Detroit born and bred, and now that his productions have grabbed a few ears, his impeccable sets are gaining him an international fanbase quickly as well. But while his previous 12-inches mostly revealed potential for even greater things to come, Dubout-EP #2, Hess's latest for Omar S's FXHE imprint looks set to transform "potential" into achievement.
Dubout-EP #2 is a fantastic bit of self-possessed Detroit techno, with a hint of dub. (The prominence of the word dub in the title shouldn't deceive you into confusing this with Deepchord/Echospace.) The two shorter cuts, "Refined By Fire," and "There Is Hope" are more on the dub side, but both feel incomplete. It's the two longer tracks (each clocking in at close to seven minutes) that are more substantial. They're restrained, but they also present a booted-and-suited view of techno that definitely makes them dancefloor ready.
Their reduced beginnings both build smoothly, leaving a feeling of spaciousness unfettered. "Shalom Dub" backs out earlier. The sparse percussion distracts itself in cloudy synths, and trades structure for a dreamy pondering of melody. "Renewal Part II," on the other hand, keeps the courage of its convictions, moving slowly and inexorably forward for six-and-a-half minutes before slowing down for the final thirty seconds and then bowing out.
It might be the added mixing expertise of Omar-S, or it might just be the way the tracks were meant to be, but "Shalom Dub" is charming, whereas "Renewal Part II" grabs me by the you-know-whats and doesn't let go. That said, Hess's DJ style is all about precision and meticulous layering, and, whatever track you prefer, this 12-inch lives up to that aesthetic completely. What a treat.
Buy Luke-Hess - Dubout-EP #2 at
Tracklist: Luke-Hess - Dubout-EP #2A1 Refined By Fire
A2 Shalom Dub
B1 There Is Hope
B2 Renewal Part 2