Looking ahead to 2009, you can't help but feel that Prime Numbers is set to have an enormous year. As label head Trus'me related in his recent RA feature, he's got more material than he can handle. (A cruel irony for a guy who set up the imprint so that he could get his own material released on his own timetable, rather than someone else's, surely.) But the thing with the music on Prime Numbers is that timing means little: These tracks are built for ten years down the road, just as much as they're ready to be slotted into sets today.
Throwbacks are always in style: As long as you pick a tasteful era, that is. Luckily, Reggie Dokes, Discreet Unit and Fudge Fingas are '70s devotees (the era most resistant to the winds of nostalgia backlash) with their feet firmly planted in the present. Dokes, for instance, takes a scalpel to a chicken-scratch guitar on "Release Yourself" and distills it to its funky essence before rubbing up a synth riff and piano chord alongside it with some moody strings that tie it all together. It's very much a collection of elements, ala Dokes' "Love" from his recent Philpot 12-inch, that shouldn't necessarily work together—but whose tentative funk coalesces into something much deeper and fulfilling.
Discreet Unit's "Unit" isn't nearly as disjointed. Instead it opts for a solid groove that marks it as an excellent DJ tool whose bassline won't make sense until heard on a speaker system that can handle it. It pales in comparison to the unrelenting funk of Fudge Fingas' "Ghost House," though. It's a track that demands peak-time placement, and one that does little more than beat a surly bassline into the ground while trying out a few choice samples—including a mesmerizing spectral melody—over top to see how they work out. If distorted house anthems are your bag, you owe it to yourself to pick this one up for "Ghost House" alone. And, if it's any indication as to what we're to expect in 2009 from the label, you can go ahead and crown them imprint of the year right now.
Buy Various Artists - I5 at
Tracklist: Various Artists - I5 A Reggie Dokes - Release Yourself
B1 Discreet Unit - Unit
B2 Fudge Fingas - Ghost House