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Mark Broom – Acid House review

Mark Broom, a name synonymous with the techno scene returns with his first album in 15 years on Saved. There’s a bumper offering here with 14 tracks over two discs: certainly a step up from your average dancefloor offering. In a recent interview Broom mused “when its 137 BPM there’s only one way you can go, but when it’s slower you can put the funk in there.” He speaks the truth, and you can hear this approach immediately with the opening track “Gap”. A panned synth loop floats around before driving, chunky beats come crashing through. The track develops with funky disco-style guitars, horns and a vocal sample. It serves as a great introduction and sets the album up for what is to come.

As the first disc progresses things begin to take a darker turn, with elements of Mark’s penchant for heavier techno coming to the fore. The heavy subs and kicks of “Feathered” makes way for the housier “Trees” – an arrangement that is reminiscent of Onionz and the dubby West Coast sound with a really strange vocal drop and time stretched percussion. The end track “Raincheck (Remix)” is a highlight – it’s dark, moody and primed for some peak time weirdness. A delayed, panned synth loop ebbs and flows through the entire piece while it builds with snappy rides, cymbals and 909 snares.

Disc two kicks off with funky percussion and a horn sample that wouldn’t sound too out of place at a bazaar in Marrakech. “If You” finds us back in disco-sampling techno territory with a constant delayed vocal sample. It offers DJs (and the crowd) an ideal ‘hands in the air’ moment. With “Give It To Me” we’re taken back into foreboding, moody technoville. A Drexcyian-esque electro lead fires in at random while a vocal sample begs the tracks eponymous title. “260” reminds us of early 90s Detroit techno that’s been left on a dusty shelf for 16 years before being brought up to date after a visit modern day Berlin. It gets really banging in the second half and should be a DJ favourite for a good while. Gareth Cheshire