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Daniel Avery – Need Electric EP review

In a recent interview Dazed Digital published between Kindness front man Adam Bainbridge and the perennially popular Erol Alkan, the two touched on an interesting discussion regarding the current state of remix culture. Bainbridge quite rightly pointed out that remixes were once a “different form of expression of the track” while now content hungry labels and digital agencies treat them as crass marketing tools. This is especially prevalent in the cesspool that is now the “blogosphere” where unworthy producers are commissioned to produce unnecessary remixes just to hammer home the point some insignificant band have some terrible and derivative single out.

In his previous Soulwax indebted incarnation Stopmakingme, Daniel Avery was caught up in this attention deficient internet hype machine, quite rightly supplanting his own growing arsenal of original productions and reputation for DJing with remixes, which no doubt demonstrated his talent but could hardly be classed as timeless. In the round of interviews that surround a rising talent such as his, Avery has always been quite open in his admiration for idols such as Weatherall and Alkan as opposed to Ridha, Winter et al while also hinting he wasn’t happy to remain on this internet merry go round.

Since putting the Stopmakingme name to bed, the gears of momentum driving Avery have seemingly shifted up several notches. A limited run of Divided Love C90 mixtapes released earlier this year was one of Avery’s first defining releases under his birth name which established his desire to have some tangible, physical representation of who he is. Much fanfare was rightly afforded about his debut on Throne of Blood; with the accompanying Weatherall remix further notice of Avery’s growing stature amongst his peers and former heroes. With the unexpected news of a forthcoming Fabriclive mix still fresh in our conscience, Avery arrives on the Phantasy Sound label overseen by the aforementioned Alkan with the first of several planned releases. Such a move seems so natural, it might appear strange it’s only happened now but Phantasy has always been a label that pays as much detail to the physical product as it does the music and it’s only now that Avery is fully realising his oft charted potential with output worthy of the physical form.

What’s most immediately apparent about the Need Electric EP is just how strange the four tracks are. The title track seemingly references both Avery’s misty eyed electro clash memories and Paul Woolford in his mid noughties era, as an “Erotic Discourse” flavoured stripped down groove twists itself ever tighter around the detuned analogue core, while icily framed female tones filter out. The whispers of Woolford on board to remix Avery under his Special Request name for a subsequent Phantasy release make this connection all the more intriguing.

Alongside this, “Taste” makes for an even weirder bedfellow, its seven plus minutes of sparse rhythms, percolating bass lines and unsettling vocal embellishments quite aptly described by Alkan himself as the “feeling of nature gone wrong”. Thus far this year it remains one of the strangest tracks conceived with the dance floor in mind, but perhaps that’s its inherent beauty. Avery’s willingness to mess with people’s expectations continues apace on the flip with “One In The Wave” – the first of two Timothy J Fairplay assisted tracks – a short piece that experiments with droning textures and brittle almost there bass tones.  The spectre of Lord Sabre hangs over “The Eagle”, an equally unnerving track driven by a gritty, low slung punk funk riff which hints Avery has been taking plenty of notes while working in Weatherall’s Basement Bunker.

Tony Poland 


1. Need Electric
2. Taste
3. One In The Wave
4. The Eagle