EP 01 presents a nice range of techno styles over six tracks that make it as useful for DJing as it is for home listening. ‘After Glow’ sets the tone with its exotic ambient synthscapes that recall the futurism of early 90’s melodic techno. The tempo increases with ‘Conical’, a pounding bass heavy groove that becomes disjointed midway through when a misplaced sample stutters into the foreground before slamming back into place, raising the intensity of the track. ‘Mood’ is a complex layered jam that brings to mind the ethereal sounds of Connection Machine, while ‘Midwest A’ uses shakers, rolling analogue percussion, and old-school reverse edits to re-inject soul into the minimal template. Detroit’s other electronic music heritage, electrofunk, is present in the massive bassline that drives the heavily swung ‘Low Down Funk’, which teases the dancefloor with unexpected synth tweaks. Jason smooths things out at the end with ‘Midwest B’, whose filtered chords and energetic bass show their debt to the early catalogue of Transmat Records.
This EP is a testament to the power of simplicity in dance music. More important than any modern techniques is the soul of the artist, and the way he uses his tools to express himself. Jason’s raw style fits alongside the traditions that he holds dear, but it is his personality that makes his sound unique. If only more new artists understood this as well as he does, the future of techno would be more promising!