Hot on the heels of their recent EP from a seemingly revitalised Domu, fledgling UK label Sector 12/12 returned to the fray last week with a brand new release from Berlin-based producer Mike Davis.
The digital imprint Sector 12/12 first appeared on our radar a few months ago following a low key launch at the beginning of the year. In that time, label head Mr Shift has already delivered two free Bandcamp releases to pique listeners’ interest, following up an initial EP of deep ambient electronica from the producer Infest with the well-received (and somewhat out of the blue) comeback release from Domu. Both shed some light on the agenda of the new label, a love for pushing twisted electronic sounds overground clearly proving to be a pivotal force that initially brought Sector 12/12 into being. This fact is further confounded by the release of this third EP, written and produced by Mike Davis, a quality four-tracker that features conflicting takes on forward-thinking techno.
Davis is a new name to us, although we’ve been reliably informed that he’s been making electronic records since 2011. Of Canadian heritage but currently based in the musical hotbed of Berlin, he’s a prolific producer (so much so that when asked to submit a demo, he sent through 22 tracks) and by the sounds presented on this EP, a well-versed one at that. Here he flexes his production chops in various ways, pulling together diverse strands of the techno genre and showcasing them in a more than cohesive manner. The productions unmistakably share a common bond with the rawer elements of 90s house and 303 acid culture, yet each of the tracks explores the territory in a different way.
The title track ‘Baniza’ opens things up and heads straight for the jugular with a deep and gnarly sound propelled forward by the simplest of kicks and a relentless bassline that provides perfect fodder to fuel those 6am shuffles on the dancefloor. ‘Toasted Acid’ begins in a similar vein before breaking out into a more refined and driving slice of futuristic funk, while the 303 (as the name suggests) is heavily worked in the background. It’s a mixdown which is more than capable of blowing the doors off any night at Berghain, yet has enough going on to stand out from some of the more soulless productions of its contemporaries. The second half of the EP is slightly more ‘soulful’ kicking of with ‘Synaptic’ which layers syncopated synth stabs on top of a driving hypnotic groove. For us though, it’s perhaps the final track ‘Pedestrian Sound’ which takes the prize, a warm old school style jam with skippy drums and sweeping synths that create an evocative hybrid of deep house and soul-infused techno. Overall, it’s an inviting glimpse into the world of Davis and another solid collection of sounds presented by Sector 12/12.. We can’t wait to hear what’s in store for #4!
Check out samples of the all four tracks below and if some take your fancy, make sure you support by picking them up via the label’s Bandcamp page.