For our premiere today we focus on the eighth release from Dubai based imprint Ark To Ashes. Run by OG vinyl head Shadi Megalla, who also runs the excellent independent The Flip Side record store, the output from Shadi’s label has always been of the utmost caliber and his new release is perhaps one of his best yet. The four track “Quasar” EP comes from his collaborative project GYPS which he produces alongside longtime studio homie Nasrawi, and with three original tracks and a remix of the title track by none other than Steve O’Sullivan the package is perfectly set up.
For our pick of GYPS’ “Quasar” EP, we take aim at “Dime” and after a twisted intro of incoherent vocal musings, it is straight to the groove. With more than a nod to Detroit techno, the elevated energy levels soon settle into a comfortable hypnotic state with many intertwining elements all connecting across a lush synth motif that drifts satisfyingly in and out of tune. With a smattering of acid punctuating the atmospheric landscape, rim shots pepper the mix at will casting a freeform shadow inviting more musical inserts to have their place before disappearing, perhaps never to return. Completing side B is the jazz laden “Sierra” and strummed guitar and elongated trumpet tones join detuned squelchy synths in welcoming the beautifully captured drum licks which have become a hallmark of this stunning EP.
Flipping over to side A and there are more musical gems in the form of “Quasar” and a remix from dub techno master Steve O’Sullivan. Where the original version from GYPS is a hazy broken beat head nodder that conjures up memories of beach side sessions, Steve’s remix is a decidedly more upbeat affair. Extended string pads are repurposed into tape delayed heaven and with the expert remix treading down a more techno route via a masterclass from this living legend, each version more than has its place in the finest of headline sets.
ARK008 is now available at Rubadub but be quick as copies are selling fast..