Album Reviews

Art Department – Social Experiment 003

on February 15, 2013, 12:01am
Art Department C+
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Curated by Kenny Glasgow and No.19 Music’s founder Jonny White, known collectively as Art Department, Social Experiment 003 is an after-hours adventure into the perverse seduction of tech-house. The Canadian duo meticulously fuse together sounds over the 14-track compilation; slow-mixing choice cuts like Ali Love’s “The Jungle” (Brigante’s Mix) into the effervescent bottom-end and signature Robert Owen vocal vibratos on Luca C. & Brigante’s “Tomorrow Can Wait”, intertwining the nostalgic a cappella “test” from Foremost Poet’s “Moonraker” across the arrangement, and balancing the rudimentary bassline of deep techno with funkier rhythms courtesy of Jamie Jones (“Doctor Blue”) and Gregorythme (“Artificial Tears”).

As the number of fingers on the dials increases, so do the tracks’ hypnotic qualities. On the minimal-techno bass pool of ”Robot Heart” — which features Damian Lazarus on vocals and production assistance from BLUD and Shaun Reeves — sweeping mid-level synths and cyclonic house hi-hats whip around the room until only the “Moonraker” can cease the implosion. Techno-legend Carl Craig then resurfaces DJ Hell and Bryan Ferry’s pop-house “U Can Dance” with a fierce Detroit aura.

Pulling the best elements of their guests together, Art Department bookend the release with their own experimental productions. The “Into the Dust Intro” is an elemental lead-in to White and Nitin’s “La Cueva”, but closing track “Insomniac” is a dynamic movement of Caribbean-influenced percussion, analog dissonance, digitized horn blasts, and an epic synth break that pulls from kraut-rock guitarists.

Take note: With the “Social Experiment” series, White, No.19 Music, and Art Department are proliferating a new form of house music for the newly aware EDM masses.

Essential Tracks: Luca C. & Brigante feat. Robert Owens – “Tomorrow Can Wait” (Art Department Remix), DJ Hell feat. Bryan Ferry – “U Can Dance” (Carl Craig Remix), Art Department, BLUD, Shaun Reeves feat. Damian Lazarus – “Robot Heart”

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