Mark E – Nobody Else review

There’s certainly no denying that Birmingham producer Mark E is on top form right now. The recent “Special FX” single on his own MERC imprint was a wondrous creation; all slow build, dub-laden 80s soul vocals and just the right amount of dancefloor chops. This EP for Gerd Janson’s Running Back – usually a safe bet for high quality deep house – is another great offering.

Lead cut “Nobody Else”, for example, is a far bolder proposition than much of his catalogue so far. Built around dense layers of bongo-laden disco drums and a heavyweight synth bass loop, it builds majestically via spine-tingling pads, cute organ chords and classic vocal drops (the clue is in the track title). Stick it on in a club and the full power of the production roars through. I’d argue this was a major step forward; we knew he could do long, deep, head-nodding cuts; now we know he can mix it with the best for pure dancefloor thrills, too.

Flip “The Wolf” is perhaps more akin to what we’ve come to expect. Deeper, druggier and loopier than the A, it’s classic Mark E; all nineties NYC house chords, spiralling sirens and bumping head-nodding bass. For digital buyers, there’s also a neat little bonus cut called “Stoneleigh Express”. In turns muffled, claustrophobic and unsettling, it sounds like Orbital’s “Semi Detatched” re-cut for the ketamine generation.

Matt Anniss