Various Artists ‘Great Minds’

Various Artists / ‘Great Minds’


Mind On Fire / Released February 7th 2011

Manchester’s enigmatic Mind On Fire collective has been responsible for promoting a diverse range of nights. Aside from welcoming acclaimed artists like Venetian Snares and Mount Kimbie to the city, original productions from like-minded locals have been compiled onto numerous CD-Rs, and sold via record shops in the north. As such it makes perfect sense that this, the micro-imprint’s vinyl debut, showcases work that’s near impossible to define.

There’s low-slung, drum n bhangra courtesy of Gkut’s Dance of the Cuttlefish, a track that would find itself at home on Thievery Corporation’s somewhat sun kissed hi-fi, or in the basements of Britain with equal ease, melding sitar melodies, acidic synths and expansive basslines. These components may sound disparate on paper, but when heard emitting from a half decent pair of speakers they make perfect sense together.

Immediately before this XXXY, a local upstart who’s been making waves for some time, explores space age house, riddled with upbeat percussive details and a sunken low end that nods to John Tejada and Martyn in one fell swoop. The result is a genre-straddling new school outing that’s the most dancefloor-focused piece on here. Formulated neither from pure four fours nor broken kicks, the potential for crossover appeal is obvious from the outset.

In contrast LA77’s opener, Cubed, is a sparse, jazz-tinged dubstep affair set to a super-skunk tempo that defies that description by not making you bored or impatient. And on the flip such vibes are echoed in Grave Architecture’s Hassium, though here things lean closer to the urban atmospherics of Burial as oppose to some exotic futurist locale. Other moments worthy of comment come from the sprawling rhythms of Woli Wols’ DJ Shadow-esque Disillusion, and the dark but live sounding breaks therein, while MoF’s own Zoir further eludes categorisation, delivering a slice of mild eccentricity as comparable to electro as it is experimental dnb (set on 33 when it should be 45). Odd as that may sound, like everything else on here, it’s worth seeking out, as the limited pressings will no doubt soon be selling out.