For many fans of contemporary dub-house, this is what dreams are made of. The latest Echospace features two original STL productions, backed with a CV313 remix, bringing together two like-minded analog auteurs for a feast of gaseous atmospherics and deeply pressurised rhythm minimalism. The centre-piece has to be STL's 'A Beautiful Mind', an expansive 17 minute track built in his intuitive and ultra-subtle style, working far into a groove that's long enough for DJs to go to the loo, read the paper, and still give enough time to make a heavy zoot. It's a bona fide epic! On the flip Hitchell, in his CV313 guise, tinkers with STL's 'Checkmate', lowering the bass levels to fill out the bottom end while making the hi-hats quiver with bespoke delay/reverb treatments, probably resulting in one of his most concentrated tracks to date. Stephan Laubner's original is a slightly more reclusive animal, content to hide behind swathes of static, wrapped in skyward dub chords and skanking merrily on a mammoth dub bassline. Truly exceptional stuff for any connoisseurs of dub-house - KILLER!
Stephan Laubner follows his critically acclaimed Smallville release with an offering on Detroit's dub techno super label, Echospace. Laubner's production is certainly worthy; experiments through his own Something Records have exhaustively explored the techno/ambient/dub realm, with exceptional results. Checkmate treads further into dub techno territory than perhaps ever before, culminating in a 17-minute-long masterpiece.
I wouldn't claim to know everything about vintage analogue signal processing, but I can safely say that this record is "warm." The title track is the darker of the cuts, while Modell and Hitchell's 313 remodel employs a more prominent 4/4 slug for the dance floor. There is a profound ambiance, meanwhile, to be found on the B-side, "A Beautiful Mind." It's a long-playing marvel, a delicately crafted piece that will enchant and inspire through its 17 minutes of outer-worldliness.
Checkmate has an intricate handmade feel. As the kicks and bass implant themselves into your psyche, the details start to unfold. Fitting, perhaps, to this time of year; it is cold outside in these parts of Europe and in the contemplative sounds here you will find rain, icy peaks and sounds of the sea that will leave you with shivers. Shown the time it deserves—this EP will become another good friend from the Echospace catalogue.
STL debuts for e c h o s p a c e with 'Checkmate', a slow-mo, dubbed out, atmospheric beast of an animal. cv313 take things a little harder with dank, muted basslines and spacey organics which give the track space to breath. Excellent stuff. Limited pressing.