Kirk Degiorgio: Membrane
Planet E

In the “man who needs no introduction” category we've got London producer Kirk Degiorgio (aka Future/Past, Off-World, and As One) who shows in this three-track Planet E outing why he's remained a potent force for two decades (never afraid to branch out, Degiorgio even recently teamed up with Dan Keeling and Chris Martin of Coldplay for the song “Whatever Happened To the Cosmic Kid”). “Membrane” kicks into gear from its first second and the powerhouse tune never lets up for a moment thereafter. Propelled by a locomotive swing and punctuated by an ever-so-perfectly-calibrated cymbal crash, the tune takes flight three minutes in when tangy synth flourishes pulsate and echo like neon-lit boomerangs; Degiorgio stokes the fire for nearly nine metronomic minutes without letting the pulse flag for a moment. Next up, Planet E head Carl Craig digs into “Membrane” for a ‘C2' mix that sends Degiorgio's original spiraling off into the galaxy. Though it's not beatless—kick drums and hi-hats still animate the tune (the scissors-like hi-hats and snares are especially funky during the cut's second half)—the focus moves away from propulsion and onto synth flares both billowing and swollen. Degiorgio brings back the thunder with “Vesuvio,” a barn-burning B-side that's as tight and electrified as his other original (search beneath the driving groove and you just might hear a brooding theme or two). The confidence and ease with which Degiorgio's material unspools shows the mark of a master.

May 2010