2nd Act – Blow Lamps

The last work I heard by 2nd Act was ‘No Cool’ that at the time (whenever that was) I liked a lot, so it’s exciting that there is some fresh material out at last in the form of ‘Blow Lamps’.
The original mix of ‘Blow Lamps’ is minimal excellence. The bright timbre of the drum hits and dry shaker allow this to be something a bit different when combined with the humming bass line that undulates underneath. Alongside this humid concoction 2nd Act drops in a range of nice deep house and even dub sounds that echo and reverberate around the track. I like the use of vocal samples that get cut into the mix too, one really low pitch syllable and the lighter ‘ariiee’ segment that weave together to make a groove independent to the bass and percussion. The dub aspects are well chosen too, it would usually seem totally incongruous, to me anyway, to have dark dub sounds alongside this bright and fun track but it just works here and makes for an interesting listen.
The second track ‘Blow Lamps Re-Edit’ has a hard job next, yet 2nd Act takes the track in a pretty different direction, this isn’t a subtle re-shading of the same track. The bass is less a murmur in the back but tensing and jumping and the vocal samples are explored more as well. This is a darker track overall, deeper vocals (just an ‘Uh’) and lower frequency percussion and textures. But again, this track shows off 2nd Act’s ability to pull a groove out of some pretty disparate sounds. Half way through the track everything stops and rebuilds into a really nice light and breezy soundscape which could not have been predicted and gradually new components of the previous mix comes in including the electro-style bass line. Honestly, I don’t know how I feel about this track, it is enjoyable sure, but nothing about it is jaw dropping.
The last track ‘333’ is another original mix. This track has a hard kick beat which ushers in some heavy (as in no-middle at all) bass guitar; it is a really good idea and not something I hear a lot of in deep house/ techno. There is deep, menacing vocal sample ‘I’ll put a roof under your feet and floor over your head’ that I love which galvanises the track nicely. I think there even some found sounds dropped in here, objects being dropped and rain falling. Towards the latter half the ‘333’ becomes messier and generally more electro overall. I like the ideas in this track a lot, but, since I am not the hugest electro fan I don’t come away feeling totally satisfied nevertheless, it is an enjoyable listen and live I think this would be pretty pretty sweet.

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