VA: Characterize 1

Gent, Belgium-based Aesthetik weighs in with a solid fourth EP, a compilation showcasing the artistry of four producers. Collectively, the style is sleek and deep techno but there's ample room for individual contrasts too. First up, Mark Broom's “Livin in the City” pairs a lightly skipping swing with Detroit ambiance and a foreboding, slightly distorted utterance of the song's title. Like a perfectly oiled machine, Texture's “Late for Work” chugs spiritedly as it's peppered on all sides by electronic jolts and squirts while, jittery and wiry by comparison, Johan Fotmeijer's “Not Human” pairs chattering synth burble with staccato snare hits and careening groans. Not that the first three don't sparkle but Tom Dazing's “Click Trick” might just gleam the brightest. The slippery tune jacks deliciously for a good seven minutes while weaving drop-outs and warped bass lines into an acidy minimal funk groove. Characterize pt.1 (presumably the first in a series) makes good on its “dance music for mind and body” promise.

April 2007