Compilation Review: Mr G / ‘Retrospective’ (Rekids)



Perhaps more housey than you’d expect — less about barking orders to face the front with shoulders back — Colin McBean’s archiving has got more pumps than a fiend for flat tires. Connected to techno by the applied DNA of flailing hi-hats (the ones that aren’t clipped but shake all over the place on the drum it), and sporadic doubling up on drum thickness, a funky double disc onslaught loops until hip fractures and busted tailbones have ERs heaving.

Extensive experience shows that one good lick grunting and shunting over and over (the taut temptation of “I’m Dirty”) can be all you need to hit lotto. “Hear Me Out” and “Jet Black” require only dour bass notes to round up a dance floor, though disc two shows signs of swivelling into the floor and unable to free itself from its own locked groove. This is less a problem for “Lights” and “The Day After B”, turning disco filtered love trains into high speed rail links, and gentle giant “My Father’s Farda.”

‘Proper’ techno murk comes from swirling boiler “Pepsi”, with subliminal advertising possibly at work to gauge the tastes of a new generation; and “Danger” boxing you until birds are spinning around your dome. Vocal samples verge on the unusual: “Did You Know” will play on your nerves, Jodeci ooze over the unreleased pleasure/pain experience “Shelter”, and the message on “Going Home” seems a bit wasted on an otherwise fine ambient cascade helping treat summer stereos and poolside walkmans.

File under: The Advent, Carl Cox, Tommy Atkins

Album Review: Mr. G / ‘State of Flux’ (Rekids)


Those left wheezing by his house and techno knock-outs will be grateful for Mr. G unexpectedly taking his foot off the gas. It’s a puzzle as to why Colin McBean decides that after three-quarters of an album spent knocking the life out of the dance floor, he resists going the whole hog and eases up with the finish line in sight. Homing in on its target and mixing up the weight of his drums for a devastating cross section, the hit-list runs tribally (“One Year Later”), chunkily (“Clearing Space”), ruthlessly (“Pumped Up” finds an extra yard, even after only four tracks), authentically (flashback “Dark Thoughts”), and with a bold disco accelerator (the clipped “Absurd Beatz No.4”).

As techno royalty he’s within his rights, but after “Pause 4 Thought With You” connects with a spoken word, lazily punned monologue, the remainder is conspicuous by its surprise element, and then as a sequence bringing an unscheduled end to the partying. The empty “Bill’s January Blues” puts up a sudden guard, and the basking, even more contradictory “New Life” rolls over to have its belly tickled. In fairness, there’s a similar downtempo conclusion to G’s previous Still Here LP. But despite the best efforts of “Mango Came Round” to retrieve the situation, its mutedness says a lot. Senty-five percent of State of Flux is pretty exhilarating, and if you’re a playlist shuffler or compiler, you’ll know where to head first.
File under: Tommy Atkins, Halcyon Daze, The Advent