The Bristol based producer and DJ is perhaps best known for his impeccable output on house labels such as NRK Music and more recently on Front Room Recordings. Arguably though some of his best work has been within the sphere of funky techno through labels such as Rotation and his own Artform imprint, and perhaps most notably with his firing remix of The Hacker's 'Just Play'. This introductory EP is house based, but it still contains strong shades of techno rhythms.
'Short Stories' opens with the sublime 'Back Then'. Followers of Jesse Rose's Front Room label will have come across this track before, albeit it a modified form. Earlier in the year label boss Rose jacked up the original by adding an effective 'jack your body' sample to ensure that it was a highlight on most dancefloors over the summer. The original Anderson mix, as presented here, is deeper and more polished although it still contains all the rights components to cause vibrations in a club environment. 'Back Then' rolls immediately into a retro bass sequence together with crisp claps and sweet percussion. A tense mood is created thanks to a brooding melody that leads nicely into the main body of the record, supported along the way by new drum patterns. The breakdown builds upon the strong start when it introduces spacey acid touches before the bassline and extra effects lift the groove further. From here the bassline is allowed to drift off down a different path, helped along the way by some quirky electronics. The simplicity of this superb arrangement is its strength, allowing the musical elements that are present to firmly grab your attention. It is, as a result, an unforgettable record that is up there with Jamie's best work to date.
'Open Your Mind' is warehouse music at its most basic and dirty best. The slick 303 foundations are built upon with clean snare rolls and colourful percussion. The acid is definitely the main feature but Jamie Anderson wisely avoids churning out a repetitive acid house track by intersecting the 303 groove with a dark and strangely emotive synth section. It is not long however until the intensity slams back in with greater emphasis on the drums. The final part of 'Open Your Mind' sports some tight acid licks that conjure up comparisons with Joey Beltram's immortal 'Energy Flash'. The synth sounds are re-introduced slowly before the track finally fades out. As with much of his output 'Open Your Mind' succeeds at providing a track that will work on most tech directed dancefloors whilst at the same time providing something a little bit more than music purely for dark basements late at night. An acid offering for sure, but one with more depth and creativity than the usual slice of 303 revivalism.
The B-side continues the good form - kicking off with 'Food for Thought', a chunky breaks influenced groove that will most probably appeal to the widest spectrum of DJ's and electronic music fans. Rave era stabs are applied alongside a bubbling and dream like key arrangement that combines with funky bass patterns. A subtle hint to the producer's musical past comes in the shape of classic hip-hop touches that blend nicely with the house background. The understated breakdowns give the record a solid structure and nice logical flow. Detroit strings can also be heard towards the end of the composition and these are mixed with effective electronic sound inputs. In summary, a consummate house record that is full of bright external influences. These influences are skilfully arranged and the end result is a compelling finished article that forms its own identity along the way.
Jamie Anderson rounds off Fixia's debut with the more minimal rhythms of 'More or Less'. Solid drums and sharp snares combine with electronic keys and buzzing background noises. As the groove progresses the drums are expanded and more emphasis is placed on the crashing nature of the percussion. Spooky feedback is programmed in to add further complexity as the keys wander on and on until they fade out alone. The final track offers nothing new, but it does however display the diverse nature of a producer as he reacts to the heavy electronic surge in both house and techno music.
- Various Artists - Great Summergames Stuff
- John Digweed - Transitions vol 3
- GU Mixed
- Yositoshi Miami - mixed by Cedric Cervais
- Fabric 35 - Mixed by Ewan Pearson
- Niki B & Christian E.F.F.E. - The Question / Fatman
- Christian Smith & John Selway - Transit Time
- Matthew Herbert - Score
- Lazy Fat People - Pixelgirl EP
- Steve Porter - Porterhouse 2
- Chris Fortier - Remixes EP 1
- Phonique - Good Idea
- One + One mixed by James Zabiela and Nic Fanciulli
- Global Underground presents Afterhours 3
- DJ T - Lucky Bastard
October 31 2005
December 15, 2005 at 4:02 PM CET