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Fanon Flowers – Maschinenhaus review

Kalamazoo native Fanon Flowers has been releasing music for over 15 years, yet he is one of the few dancefloor artists who manages to get the fusion of Detroit techno and Chicago house down to a tee. That said, Flowers’s recent output for Studio Sound alternated between pure 909 drum mayhem and acid freak-outs – “Acid Kush” –  and despite its title, the deeper techno of “Chicago-Detroit”. So what next for Flowers, now that his latest release has been snapped up by Sect, a label that has been excelling of late (most notably with a recent Jolka 12″ that boasted remixes from Silent Servant and Surgeon)?

Oddly enough, part one of “Maschinenhaus” sounds European rather than American – a looped dubby chord playing out in the unflinchingly hypnotic Basic Channel manner. Indeed, the only real hint that it is a US production comes as the thunderous, precision claps kick in. The second part sees Flowers set out a more distinctly American feel: the same heavy claps are present, but this time so too are deeper, more textured chords and a discernible swing to the tracky, DJ-friendly groove. Coming from a place that’s neither Detroit nor Chicago – geographically Kalamazoo is halfway between the two – and audibly influenced this time by a German aesthetic, Maschinenhaus is a product of the best of bits from the troika of dance music’s capital cities.

Richard Brophy