The biggest mystery to me on this release—the second installment in Future Times' Vibe series—is the first track. In a compilation that brims with inventive weirdness, the remix of L.I.E.S.' "Comeback Dust" by label boss Maxmillion Dunbar is a enigmatic dose of futuristic, cut-up house music. Yes, it's house, and it's made from a lot of house music sounds I recognize, but they've been repurposed according to some hidden inner logic, yielding what you might call cubist house: angular, deconstructed, disorienting. Beats and drum fills skitter past one another, held together by a begging blues vocal. How was this track made? Why are these sounds put together in this way? It's super-compelling and difficult to fathom.
The additional mystery is that nothing else on this comp sounds remotely like it. So don't be surprised if you get whiplash when the needle switches over to Tom Noble's glitzy disco dub "Malaco." Look closer, however, and you'll see that the mysteries continue. Why does "Malaco" sound like it was mastered entirely in the red, with big crunchy analog drums and bass in your face? Then, on Alexis Le-Tan's "Marathon Man," the stripped funk and heavy breathing made me all ready for a sexy jam, but instead the track mutated into a menacing, quasi-industrial Martian war dance. Further down the line, "Musketache" confuses me because it sounds wholly unlike the Juju & Jordash that I know. Here they've gone markedly lo-fi, trading in blissed-out synths and 707 bonk. Oh, and then for no reason the comp ends with a boogie edit where a bear-chested dude announces that he feels sexy. Makes perfect sense.
If Future Times know the answers to these questions, they're not telling—riddles seem to be par for the course, and appropriately enough, one of the artists here is called Confused House. It's probably two of the other artists working together under another pseudonym—Future Times gives off that kind of DIY factory-style air. Vibe 2 exudes the D.C. group's ragtag, basement-dweller approach to house and techno, and furthers its burgeoning reputation as one of America's most exciting start-up dance labels.
Buy Various Artists - Vibe 2 at
Tracklist: Various Artists - Vibe 2 A1 L.I.E.S. - Comeback Dust (Max D's Big Top Dustheads Rmx)
A2 Tom Noble - Malaco
A3 Confused House - Concrete (Dub)
B1 Alexis Le-Tan - Marathon Man
B2 Steve Summers - Uncollected Grooves
C1 Juju & Jordash - Musketache
C2 Steve Moore - Volatile Memory
D1 Hunee - Folga
D2 Swimmers & Gang - Sexy
Other Future Times reviews