RA Reviews DJ Spider & Phil Moffa Collaboration

resident_advisor

DJ Spider & Phil Moffa – Night Gallery (Review)

DJ Spider and his Plan B imprint represent the rougher edge of East Coast techno and house, and his subsidiary label, Sublevel Sounds, isn’t any different. Here, he teams up with Phil Moffa for an EP of typically vicious club music.

Spider’s work often sounds like chewed-up house, but his solo turn, “Frequency Pollution,” has more of an antiseptic sheen. That polish is about the only friendly thing about it—the song sounds like SND played on sticks instead of chiselled waveforms. Melody is only implied in the faded framework of the track’s scraping chords. The first collaboration with Moffa, “Oracle Octaves,” takes those same sounds and liberally applies delay effects for added flavour. When a hi-hat locks the victorious-sounding chord progression in place, it begins to feel like a completely different EP, strutting its wares with pride.

Moffa gets his own solo spotlight: “Midnight Never Ends” is another delay-heavy boomer, one that treads between dub techno and deep house in the same way as Levon Vincent. Unlike him, there’s no subtlety here—the bombardment of harshly-panned snares is like a cluster bomb. The duo ends the EP with a respite, at least in this context. Comforting reverb and gentle percussion define “Golden Dawn,” until it turns into a Steve Reich nightmare, with 100 organs all playing discordantly at once. It’s a jarring end to an EP whose hostile production choices are more masochistically satisfying than they are alienating.

Words /
Andrew RycePublished /
Thu, 14 February 2013

Tracklist: DJ Spider & Phil Moffa – Night Gallery
A1 DJ Spider – Frequency Pollution
A2 DJ Spider & Phil Moffa – Oracle Octaves
B1 Phil Moffa – Midnight Never Ends
B2 DJ Spider & Phil Moffa – Golden Dawn