Droog’s label Culprit has been quietly going about its business over the last year or so, cooking up plenty of slow burning house from the likes of M A N I K, Lee Foss and Hot Natured. For this release, the LA stable turn to D-Town boy Lee Curtiss and the UK’s Leftroom boss Matt Tolfrey for their input and what results is the label’s freakiest and most dancefloor outing to date. It also counts as another goal in the ongoing vocal revolution (Troxler, Art Department, James Teej, Soul Clap are all at it now) as Tolfrey’s voice is woven throughout the course of the one original track, ‘Candy’.
Away from the bubbling, contained, sultry sonic soups which have been previous Culprit records, ‘Candy’ is a much busier affair, built on a rasping, freewheeling coked-up synth bassline it sprays around like an unfastened hose, dampening down the squelchy beats and dripping percussion below. Once it gets peeled back, eco systems of warm, tightly knit sounds rotate around each other as Tolfrey’s processed voice breathes some human animation and affection into proceedings.
Loco Dice’s production wingman, Martin Buttrich, steps out of the shadows for the first remix and feeds the whole track through a finely grained filter, upping the micro-detail and layering all manner of echoing filters over Tolfrey’s voice. It drips and bleeds, churns with an endlessly techy edge and punches that bit harder than the original to make it an even more efficient dancefloor bomb.
The final re-visioning comes from Paxahau resident John Johr who dubs things out, adds a little depth to the original’s clutter and playfully leaves a pre-vocal recording of Tolfrey talking at the beginning of the track. Although a new direction of sorts for Culprit, it’s nothing new in terms of the wider scene but that’s not to say the spraying bassline at the heart of these tracks won’t do plenty of damage this summer: a marmite track, for sure.
Kristan J Caryl for AUTOBRENNT