Maxmillion Dunbar - Max Trax for World Peace
Maxmillion Dunbar's three-track Max Trax for World Peace EP sounds more conventional than much of his beguiling 2010 album Cool Water, but even when he wiggles into the realm of regular rhythms and recognizable styles, Dunbar makes good on his capacity for surprise. The album that grabbed people's attention featured slow, scrappy, sometimes inscrutable sounds that hinted at house, whereas "Polo," the first A-side here, takes away the hint and makes it more or less a declaration. The pace is up a bit, the percussion more syncopated—but there's still a good sense of strangeness at play, with bits of what sounds like guitar, snatches of high mass choral vocals, and lots of other weird adornments that fade in and out. "Ballroom" follows with a slow, mellower roll, sounding a Balearic note with brightened-up, synth-y dub. The B-side "Piano & Dream World" falls in between the first two, leaning a moody, dour techno mood against a sense of vivaciousness that sounds optimistic, or at least hopeful for something yet to come.