Epic EP this one, been playing a few tracks the last few weeks on the show.
This album has its origins 17 yeas ago in early 2000, before Chain Reaction released the legendary Ship-Scope 12”. Three of the tracks here are taken from an acetate cut at Dubplates & Mastering at that time but which wouldn’t see the light of day until now, including another batch of tracks taken from original masters. Only 5 copies of that acetate were ever made so this is the first time any of these tracks are available for public consumption and, for our money, rank among the finest and most distinctive in either the Chain Reaction or Shinichi Atobe’s vaults.
The material is effectively some of the Japanese producer’s earliest work, showcasing the sort of tender, feminine pressure that would bubble up on the Ship-Scope EP and later be revealed in his new productions, Butterfly Effect and World yet, for many reasons, they would lay sunk in his archive for the next 17 years.
The tracks taken from that acetate are labelled First Plate 1-3 and really are quite remarkable, having taken on so much character and added weight over the years that the incidental crackle of surface noise imbues proceedings with an added dimension that’s hard to fathom. it basically sounds like a lost transmission making its way from Paul-Lincke-Ufer at the turn of the millennium to a new, completely changed world all these years later.
The patina of crackle lends a mist-on-bare skin feeling akin to summer garden parties at Berghain in the stepping First Plate 1, and gives a foggier sort of depth perception to the hydraulic, Maurizian heft of First Plate 2, but it’s the submerged euphoria of First Plate 3 that hits the hardest; a heady, bittersweet reminder of days gone by.
The other four tracks are crisply transferred from master tapes, relinquishing a sublime, impossible to categorise House variant that recalls everything from DJ Sprinkles to Ron Trent, yet with that weird, timeless production tick that by now has become something of a signature for this most distinctive and hard to categorise producer.
B1 First Plate 1
B2 First Plate 2
B3 The Test Of Machine 2
D1 The Test Of Machine 1
D2 First Plate 3