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Iron Curtis – Stumbled Across review

The Retreat imprint overseen by Yanneck Salvo aka Quarion and Session Victim’s Hauke Freer continue to lay the emphasis on quality, enlisting Iron Curtis to programme only their seventh release in two years. The German certainly doesn’t disappoint delivering a resolutely fine deep house moment across the A Side in “Cover Me”.

Swathes of Chicago loving pads punctuate the first half of a track, driven by liquid drips of bass and hi-hats primped with crispness. It’s the glorious drop into silence that prefaces the arrival of highly pitched vocal thumping 808 kicks and crazed key stabs that acts as the most pleasant slap in the face you’ll receive in 2010. Whilst Retreat is onto a winner with the A Side alone, it’s the multiplicity of sounds explored on the B Side which transcend this release into the realm of ‘MUST HAVE’. Straying far from the deep house template, the title track “Stumbled Across” is delightfully schizophrenic attempt at beatdown, driven by a deliberately off key array of snares, hi-hats and claps. Synths and keys are laid down with a similar degree of stutter to dizzyingly brilliant effect.

Flipping the script further is the all too brief “Creeps” which displays a talent for head nodding MPC choppage to a backdrop of ethereal chord patterns. Curtis ends on the short but sweet “All My Friends” with the click clack of a mechanical 80 BPM half step stutter set to repeat over a wonked out moog line. An intriguing insight into where Iron Curtis might choose to go next.

Tony Poland