As much of the world settles into one of the hottest summers on record, heat-blurred West Coast via San Francisco-based imprint Public Release comes through with a timely transmission. Having released seminal bits from key players in the US underground since 2009, we’re now brought a new 12” from UK stalwart Mark E titled Shelter (a fitting title given that you’ll need some if the heat index climbs even further).
Shelter sits somewhere between the tried-and-true sounds of Detroit techno funk carved out by the likes of Omar-S and K Hand, and the cosmic, synth-laden proto-tronic experiments found on DAT tapes in suburban American bedrooms from the late ’80s onward. One might mistake this set as a reissue of the latter if it weren’t for Public Release’s on-point modern design adorning the sleeve and Mark E’s keen present-aware production.
The title track aims towards the deep end of this spectrum where taut, slappy hand percussion (presumably recorded in a 15ft by 15ft square flat with a broken A/C many moons ago) ride atop a throbbing foundation. Ancient oscillators break through the surface, warbling its forbidden formants around the space as they slowly rise to form a mind-washing drone rivalling the relentless steam bending the tarmac on the horizons of California’s streets. Heady, ritual-minded and propulsive all in one go.
Shelter is out on June 28th on Public Release – pre-order here.