The Celebrate Life EP series, taking its name from the shop's thermometer-breaking all-night dance parties, had previously collected Life classics and rough-hewn yet deadly remixes. (A "Slow To Speak Cockeyed Edit" of Jack Master's "Bang," for example, basically just flung the original's vocal against the B-side from Equalized 001.) The series' unexpected fourth installment, however, is another beast entirely: each track is brand new, and positively on fire.
The A-side comes from Beige, a Brooklyn experimental outfit as excited by shoegaze and Steve Reich as the sort of driving American house that Dope Jams stocked in abundance. Twisted up by Slow To Speak on "Emperor (Celebrate Life Mix)," Beige unsurprisingly gets tugged in a house direction. But the track's slapback-heavy vocals ensure that an otherwise familiar arrangement of ticking analog drums and nervy 303 feels unique. Englehardt makes quite a racket on the flip with "Leveling," its moody agitation recalling the cutting techno of early Slow To Speak. But "New Way," from an unknown producer named Genoa, is undoubtedly this collection's secret weapon. Something tells me the words "Hessle Audio" would make the Dope Jams guys go blue in the face, but with its slinky low-end and lovingly mangled vocal slices, "New Way" travels in a similar orbit.