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T.B. Arthur – 3

There’s little information to be had on T.B. Arthur beyond the insinuation it’s the work of a forgotten US producer from the ‘90s whose plans fell foul to financial issues, and a Chicago area phone number printed on each of the three records. Dial it up and you’ll be met with an automated message informing inquisitive minds: “You have dialled a number that is no longer in use, but continues to receive many calls. Please check the number you want and dial again. You have not been charged for this call. Thank you”.

T.B. Arthur - 3
T.B. Arthur
Test Pressing
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That internal alarm inside your head is probably sounding the “bullshit” klaxon right now as the thought “ffs, I bet it’s another anonymous side project” begins to formulate. As jaded as this writer has become by such endeavours, the nagging feeling you want to know who is behind them is all the stronger when the music is as good as the Head Front Panel series for example. It’s definitely the case with T.B. Arthur too. So for now, with the actual facts of T.B. Arthur still a mystery wrapped up inside a fanciful story, remove yourself from who he/she/they may be and focus on the music.

Both the initial 12”s that dropped a few months ago were filled with the type of functional, yet playful, stripped down DJ tools you could happily spend a good hour mixing between without getting bored. This third T.B. Arthur 12” happily continues in that vein, with a quartet of untitled productions allegedly “recut from just one existing, yet perfect test press from back in the day”. It would be fairly boring to describe how each track reveals itself, but if you get turned on by cavernous kick drums, queasy strains of synthetic acid, and satisfyingly punchy low end, you will most certainly enjoy the way T.B. Arthur rolls here.

There are hints of reduction-style Population One in the opening track, though the feeling is a bit more claustrophobic than Terrence Dixon’s work, whilst “Track 3” has a wonderful mid point moment where the production seems to fall apart before gathering itself up and heading in a completely different direction. Whilst I’ve not witnessed it deployed in its intended environment yet, it’s hard not to visualise the rather evil “Track 4” detonating a dancefloor; the snake-like acid lines, the seedy drums and the descent into percussive madness that consumes the track all seem perfectly geared to this end.

Tony Poland


A1. Track 1
A2. Track 2
B1. Track 3
B2. Track 4