VA: Recast
New Speak

Stockholm, Sweden-based label New Speak checks in with a breezy ten-track compilation that's tailor-made for fans of Ai Records, Vertical Form, and Concrete Plastic. Recast's electro-styled exercises are as colourful as peacocks and as tastefully-attired as Wall Street executives. Many of the producers create their finely-crafted tracks using old-school gear such as drum machines and vintage analogue synthesizers but that doesn't stop them from sounding fresh. Layers of intricate synth patterns squiggle and burble in ten funky club cuts that are as sleek and polished as the Detroit techno that's such a pervasive influence on the nearly-hour-long collection.

Many of the contributors have Sweden roots, such as Patrick Richard, whose “Veitsi” (Finnish for “dagger”) gets the session moving with a sharp and aggressive stab of analog electro-disco, and Smyglyssna, whose “Clarity” gets down and dirty with a clubby pounder; in the CCO and Vertical Form vet's contribution, analog synths conjoin in blissful union over a stomping kick-drum in what starts out in stripped-down minimal mode before blossoming into a multi-tiered structure of intricate electronic detail and melodies. In the memorable “Frog Pit” by The Bird Who Fell to Earth, a female artist and drum machinist with a jones for the TR-808, squiggly oscillations and synth belches croak joyously while powered by the steam-driven chatter of funky drum machine rhythms. Indebted to Chicago house and techno, Javelin Juvenile's swinging electro-house cut “Make Up Your Mind” is ear-catching too, especially when the title is delivered as a strangulated plea. Error Flynn (Oscar Tillman and New Speak co-founder Ola Bergman) contribute the album's hardest-hitting moment in an (untitled) slice of hammering techno that's powered by the snare's bone-breaking crack. Wholly unlike it in spirit, Tillman's summery “The Swollen Now” pairs jubilant synth melodies and pitter-pattering drum patterns to evoke a carefree Kraftwerk road-trip through the German countryside.

July 2009