We often think of dance labels as the nexus of a scene—a compiler of a particular time and place. Over the course of a handful of releases this year, the upstart Shaddock Records has demonstrated a deep commitment to the moment (you don't tap Tin Man and Kassem Mosse for remixes if you're living under a rock) but—as is appropriate for a label simultaneously hailing from Paris, Berlin, Barcelona and Vienna—a relative nonchalance about geography. Their latest, the Hon Ken EP from the mysterious Auxon, is another varied and fascinating collection of tracks not so much tailored for any scene in particular as for what a lot of scenes seem to value at the moment.
"Hon Ken" sounds vintage, though its ancestry seems intentionally muddled. An old-school swirl of arpeggios and incongruous motivational slogans, the vocal version is charmingly lightweight. On paper, the spoken word vocals add very little, but they lend enough personality to the track to make the instrumental mix an unnecessary inclusion for most. Lopazz and Zarook's remix reinvents the original for the afterhours set, scrambling its nostalgia into a techy dub roller with a squeeze of the lysergic. Taking a decidedly different approach, Liquid Pegasus up the reverb and sedate the tempo for their Italo-fied version. Theirs is a commendably creative transformation, but they've gone a bit overboard here on the epic touches and ultimately make me appreciate the quiet awkwardness of the original even more.
Buy Auxon - Hon-Ken at
Tracklist: Auxon - Hon-Ken A1 Hon-Ken (Vocal Version)
A2 Hon-Ken (Instrumental Version)
B1 Hon-Ken (Lopazz & Zarook Remix)
B2 Hon-Ken (Liquid Pegasus Remix)