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Suzanne Kraft – Green Flash review

Releases from artists as varied as Mark E, Radio Slave, Move D and Prosumer make for the impressive back catalogue that is Gerd Janson’s Running Back – an imprint that has always been noted for its high standards if not prolific output – with less than twenty releases in its first eight years of existence. Since the turn of the decade, those standards have remained, but the frequency has certainly increased with last year’s release schedule dominated by the illuminating collaboration between Mim Suleiman and Juno Plus hero Maurice Fulton.

2011 has seen Running Back impress further with every arrival, as the marquee signing of Tiger & Woods was further complemented by Janson coaxing Todd Terje back into the studio for the superlative Ragysh which is odds on to feature in many an end of year poll. These headline releases have been complemented by some less celebrated, but by no means less impressive productions – Marco Passarani’s heavily psychedelic title track from Colliding Stars Pt 2 springs to mind, as does that stunning Son Of Sam reissue.

Underpinning all of these releases has been a commitment to press everything on nice heavyweight vinyl and surround them in sumptuous artwork, and their latest twelve is perhaps the best example of that to date. The focus shifts to another under-the-radar producer in Suzanne Kraft, whose Green Flash EP makes for one of this year’s most attractive releases thanks to the distinctive green and yellow patterns that adorn the cover art.

Tellingly, the music itself proves to be even better, adopting a pleasant midtempo poise on “Morning Come”, with swathes of melodies infused with the slinkiest of filter treatments and looped vocal snippets. Suzanne (a pseudonym for a man, oddly enough, but who are we to judge) maintains these joyous flushes of emotion throughout the rest of the EP, with both “Turning” and the title track sounding like Tiger & Woods performing from the deep end of the pool, with the latter track deftly incorporating a classic Teddy Pendergrass sample. “Femme Cosmic” provides an excellent finish to proceedings, unfolding from a tinnily reverberant slowed down proto house drawl into some midnight cruise through dubbed out mutant 80s disco boogie.

Tony Poland