Slam - Groovelock (Deepchord / Echospace Remixes)
Originally issued on Slam's Snapshots EP in 1995, "Groovelock" was a chord-filled Detroit techno homage with lush, analogue bass. The prolific Rod Modell and Stephen Hitchell have created five contemporary dub techno interpretations loosely based on the original track. "Echospace Detroit Mix One" is best described as chilly. Over the course of 13 minutes, layers of percussion and chords fade in and out while reverberation and filters are slowly tweaked. The end result feels more mechanical than its source material, though that doesn't necessarily make it less worthy of a dance floor. As the music plays, unbidden visions of time-lapse nighttime cityscapes spring to mind.
The "Deepchord Centrum Remix" begins with swirling digital snow. The bass is thick, yet indistinct. Double-time chords evoke inevitable memories of Basic Channel. The mix grows dense, then gradually elements fade, leaving sleigh bell-like woodblocks. Next on the digital release are three bonus tracks, starting with the harder, shorter (at under ten minutes) "Echospace Detroit Mix Two." Congas and spacey treble synths play loosely over a simple three-note bassline. The "Deepchord Rebuild" starts strong. Oddly shaped pulses move over a low heartbeat. Unfortunately, it winds down gradually—by its end all the best parts have disappeared.
The "Deepchord Atmospheric Rebuild" is certainly the most original mix of the lot. Alien pitches alternate with a hum evoking Gregorian chant. Modell and Hitchell are dauntingly productive, but experiments like this, which are still surprisingly rare in techno music, make following them worthwhile.
Mon / 2
A Groovelock (Echospace Detroit Mix One)
B Groovelock (Deepchord Centrum Mix)
Digital: Groovelock (Echospace Detroit Mix Two)
Digital: Groovelock (Deepchord Rebuild)
Digital: Groovelock (Deepchord Atmospheric Rebuild)