Tuesday, June 2, 2020
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Artist: Stranger In The Night
Title: So Much Subtle Fun EP
Format: Download Only (MP3 + Lossless)
Label: DAMN!
Distributor: Believe Digital
This is a release that oozes confidence and attitude. While there's a music librarian in me that will always do a bit a Forest Whittaker eye at the idea that a release with only 2 tracks could be an "EP", this is a 20-minute dive into the Stranger's quite nerdy wallowing in acid techno basslines, and slow knob-twiddling of digitals wails and squeaks.

With the gradual progression and slightly unorthodox structure, there's an almost improvised feel to these tracks, as if they have been moulded and shaped on the fly, with the Stranger riding the faders and filters in real time. As such, "So Much For Subtlety" possibly overstays its welcome by just a couple of minutes, running out of tricks towards the ten-minute mark. This is largely boosted by the slow, almost "has it started yet?" intro that would make it a good set-opener for DJ's willing to set their stall out very clearly.

Despite the similar track titles and the fact the second one is labelled as a dub, these are two distinct tracks. They may originally have had the same musical root but they have branched out in quite different directions. "So Much For Fun" is a tighter affair which sticks to its brief and has a more determinedly clubby outlook. The almost tongue-in-cheek organ again has a slightly making-it-up-as-I-go-along feel to it, restraining itself in the first half before losing the plot into a crescendo of random arpeggiations, then spontaneously getting a grip and returning back to loop A. It's all very restrained- personally I wouldn't have minded a bit more drama and dynamic on this one.

This is the second release on the DAMN! label and marks them out as people to keep an eye on.