Dave Clarke & Mr Jones are _Unsubscribe_
Even the most casual readers of our Darkfloor will need no introduction to the Baron of techno that is Dave Clarke. Mr Jones you might be less familiar with, he is, after all, much newer to the scene. We first noticed him when Armory dropped on Heavy Reel in late 2011.
Together they are _Unsubscribe_ and following a couple of remixes the first original work of the duo is available on vinyl and digital formats from London club fabric’s latest endeavor – the Houndstooth label.
Rolf Mulder, of The Public Stand, interviewed the duo last year and it serves as a great introduction into the origins of the partnership and some insight in their studio process.
I’ve worked so long in the studio on my own. For so many years. And thats great when it goes well, and that’s really though when it doesn’t. It’s quite lonely actually to be honest. And to actually find someone that you can have a good repor with and to also cook for you pig and peasoup is a bonus. And actually to be honest, with Jones I feel that it’s quite a symbiotic relationship in the studio where it’s 60/40, 40/60, 50/50, where we learn of each other.
They’ve been in the studio together longer than you might think for a “new” project – their first remix, the club classic Sandwiches from Detroit Grand Pubahs saw release on Engineroom back in 2011. Since then they’ve remixed the likes of Octave One; another one for the Detroit Grand Pubahs this time with Psycatron; Gesaffelstein on Turbo Recordings; Radial G’s Shadowdancing; Erol Alkan and Boys Noize’s joint effort Brain Storm (which came with a pretty fucked up LFO remix too) and probably a couple of others I’ve missed. Apologies if I have.
So, has the long awaited studio return of Clarke with new studio wizard Jones been worth it? Well yes and no.
I’ll start with the negative – I was expecting more than what is just a single track, yea we’ve got the instrumental and on the digital release the “Bassapella” but I was really hoping for a couple of tracks, not just the same thing with bits taken out. An EP or at the very least an A and B side. I’d have been happy to wait too. No doubt Houndstooth are working up a bigger follow-up; they have their schedule and maybe this was rushed out with the “versions” rather than a suitable B side. Speaking of which I don’t really get the instrumental version in that the vox version isn’t massively a vocal track, the vocals are actually part of the track – it isn’t just sat over the top.
Anyways, that’s really the only gripe I have with Spek Hondje. The track itself is big, rich, and pretty full of itself. Designed for big dancefloors not chin strokey caves, and comes with the words of American vocalist Edwin Rios AKA Bear Who?. Who I had not come across prior though who has worked with plenty of the big names in Chicago and house – Derrick Carter, MAW, Todd Terry, Junior Sanchez and DJ Sneak of whom he recorded Fix My Sink, which I’m informed is the track everyone knows Rios from.
There’s a certain swagger to the track – in a sort of dark Chicago groove. You know a sort of “jack”. Fittingly Bear Who? hails from the Windy City.
Through layers of burbling bass the vocals of Bear Who? emerge from the stomp swamp. The duo bring in nested acid lines and the track builds and builds – the ever present thud holding, taking you down the path. The builds are infectious and heady but they have avoided the tried and tested (to death) big filtersweep/white noise crescendo in come the ever fuller kick drums. No, whilst this track does pack a punch, that much you can’t argue with, the builds and drops are a touch subtler. So, they’ve got this headlining, stand out track with all the gusto required to fill the size of spaces a DJ the calibre of Clarke fills regularly without overdoing it so much Joe Normal DJ can’t layer other stuff in without the whole thing sounding like a muddy mess. Well played gents.
And that’s what you’d hope with these two behind the buttons. Gotta mention that final 10 seconds of hats – proper Red series vibes off that.
Is this going to be as massive as Alloy Mental’s Fire (you can’t forget that), probably not. Is it going to turn heads and feet at the dance. Yes. Is it a future classic. Hmm. Probably not but who the hell am I to say so.
More original studio work please Misters Clarke, Jones and Houndstooth.
_Unsubscribe_ – Spek Hondje
_Unsubscribe_ feat. Bear Who? – Vox Spek Hondje
_Unsubscribe_ feat. Bear Who? – Inst. Spek Hondje
_Unsubscribe_ feat. Bear Who? – Bassapella Spek Hondje (Digital Bonus)