Having had something of a gap in his release schedule after his Caravan label cooled off, suddenly we’re awash with new records from October. From the triumphant reviving of Will Saul’s Simple to imminent Applepips and Skudge releases, these new appearances have been far from disposable, and yet in the midst of the well-oiled press attention those labels enjoy, there’s a risk that October’s own TANSTAAFL imprint might get overlooked.
There’s always an undeniable feeling that an artist might save their best work for thier own imprint, but with this two-tracker from the Bristol-based producer it’s difficult to draw parallels with other recent singles. From the outset there’s a more overtly industrial feel to the sound design on both “Planet Of Minds” and “Singularity Jump”, which calls to mind a similar aesthetic that was plastered all over John Osborn’s inaugral EP for the label. As such, it seems as though there’s a sonic agenda in mind which is slowly starting to take shape. How that expands to other artists remains to be seen.
“Planet Of Minds” works off an acidic bassline and stalking menace in the first instance, until melodically ambiguous pulses of metallic synth come throbbing in. Overall, the track is a restrained affair, using just rasping, vaporous high frequencies to accentuate the groove at the appropriate juncture. As is often the case with October’s work, the ambience in the track is a mildly unsettling one, half-filled with the wonder of the unknown and half with sinister confidence.
On the other hand, “Singularity Jump” is a loud and proud stomper, from the gargantuan flanged claps that herald the start onwards. By the time the feverish vocal snippets and jacking ride kick in, there’s no turning back. The party only intensifies with the tart synth-sax that comes sassing in from leftfield (or possibly an early Strictly Rhythm record) and the scene is set. However, that aforementioned industrial edge maintains throughout as those fearsome claps punctuate the track. Ably matching his ingenuity with naivety, October once again proves his singular approach to house and techno with two no-nonsense cuts that both favour the DJ and challenge the listener in a rare straddling of brain hemispheres. If only more dance music could do the same so succinctly.
1. Planet Of Minds
2. Singularity Jump