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JUG – Slug EP

Australian DJ/producer Adrian Nicholson aka Jug has only a few releases to his name, so it speaks volumes about his creative skills that he is already causing waves. Listening to the Slug EP however, it’s not hard to hear why he has made a name for himself in such a short space of time. “Hymn for Him” starts inauspiciously, its hollowed out, dubby drums promising at first a competent DJ tool – but that’s before Nicholson introduces a shimmering, deeply evocative chord sequence and sensuous strings. These elements provide the basis for a beautiful, soulful vocal that will melt the heart of even the hardest techno cynic.

By contrast, “Eeehh” offers a totally different approach: based on a bouncy acid bassline, it is more stripped back, but Nicholson ensures that it will not be consigned to the DJ tool bargain bin thanks to the inclusion of some cut up, quirky vocals and the prominent use of driving percussion. Finally, on the title track, Nicholson attempts to straddle his musical and dancefloor leanings. The beats are stripped back and the rhythm less direct as it alternates between straight 4/4s and more off-centre patterns, while the gradual introduction of atmospheric chords guarantee it and its author a high placing in the league of spine-tingling, ethereal techno.

Richard Brophy