Newbody Think! [EP]

[Interscape; 2015]

Styles: house
Others: Ultrademon, Body High, Jock Club

The electronic music netlabel is a singular irony in an era of music characterized by hyper-fracturization of the means of production, as well as the heavily thinkpieced “prosumer” phenomenon now relegated to the 100-level business classes at your nearest public university. Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with such netlabels; for all of their efforts to extricate themselves from the PR cycle, they tend to display cliquey curatorial limitations. Still, there’s something of specific interest about Interscape Recordings Ltd., and with Think!, a compact collection of forward-thinking house collaborations, they’ve placed themselves in the same narrative as celebrated Bandcamp collectives like 1080p and Mall Music.

The title track is a straightforward deep house throwback, complete with soulful a capellas and fifth pads. One of the EP’s points of interest is the Ultrademon remix of “Think!,” which displays technical and stylistic growth on behalf of the seapunk pioneer. With overdriven drums and compressed stabs on the off-beat, it serves as an interesting juxtaposition to the rigid, nostalgic discipline of Newbody’s original. TMT favorite Karmelloz also offers a remix on Side A, spinning the original into an uncharacteristically restrained, ambient slow-burner. All of these interpretations of “Think!” share in the irony of a piece of music framed around a titular imperative that the listener is symbolically required to violate.

As far as the two original Newbody productions on this digital 12-inch, an immediate standout is the infinitely replayable deep house/ambient techno/jungle amalgam “2 Much of U,” a versatile banger that has already wormed its way into my heart and my DJ set. Remixes from DIS-affiliated collective Music For Your Plants and TMT super favorite D/P/I serve as interesting interpretations, but they don’t achieve the same rhythmic ecstasy as the original. As is the case with the aforementioned Karmelloz contribution, D/P/I’s rework is nowhere near as interesting as the latter’s original productions, but is still more a composition than a regurgitation.

The Think! EP is an interesting netlabel artifact in that it seems to conform to an outmoded format, unlikely to find its deserved appreciation in the current digital landscape. The analytical atmosphere of the listener-screen-headphones triad doesn’t serve it as well as the rave-network vertices of DJ-table-speakers-audience. All of the above is a convoluted way of telling you to close this tab, run that shit back to track 4, and rage.

Links: Interscape

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