VA: Human NatureSampler 1
Human Nature

VA: Human NatureSampler 2
Human Nature

Ben Camp, Mat Leutwyler, and Wally C introduce their latest label venture Human Nature with eight hard-hitting, bass-heavy club tracks spread across two EPs. The contributors are hardly neophytes. Philadelphia-based Camp has issued music on Movim Recordings, Houseplant Records, and Hatch Music imprints, and is heavily involved with Silver Planet Recordings too. Leutwyler partners with Camp in Camp & Leutwyler, obviously, but the two also operate under other aliases (BCML, Acid Mutant, Josh Whatever & Al Centro, Punktooth), produced “Speedcats” (christened BBC Radio One's “Record of the Year”), and have received DJ support by the likes of Carl Cox, Pete Tong, and Paul Van Dyk.

Kickstarted by slamming snares and a classic Motown-flavoured bass line, Camp's Sampler #1 opener “Cocky and Funny” has as much in common with rock'n'roll as it does dance music, a quality asserted even more strongly when a twanging electric guitar joins the fray, snaking a path over the roaring base like a barracuda. Synths snarl and chime as the energy level intensifies and explodes, rendering the track anything but minimal. Anchored by a hefty bass drum punch, Ben Camp & His Acid Orchestra's “The Slug Dance” oozes rabid electro swing as its percussive jolts ricochet over a swirling maelstrom. Camp & Leutwyler's “Legend” is an epic jam, with raw guitar roasting over an acidy, bass-driven stomp, which impresses a little less for downplaying melody. Girlfriend more than atones for that lack with the pulsating dark electro anthem “Two Packs of Ciggs, a Hand Grenade, and Girlfriend” which swings effervescently for a glorious nine minutes. The jams on Sampler #2 stomp no less determinedly, especially when they include Camp's epic, electro-acid raver “Pay the Bills” and Girlfriend's churning acid-house “Not Tonight” and its cascading cymbal splashes and biting bass-and-drum groove. With a snappy pulse drenched in synth gobbles and squiggles, Ben Camp & His Acid Orchestra's wiry “So Hot Acid” delivers exactly what one might expect. The EP catches its breath during Camp & Leutwyler's slightly chilled “Paris” where dramatic swirls coil around a pumping attack and a vague hint of Prog emerges via the ornate keyboard layers.

April 2007