For release number twenty-three on San Francisco's Manjumasi, label co-founder Mark Slee returns with a new EP, his first original showing on the imprint since its debut release, his Nocturne Belle EP in 2016.
The Grapeseed EP features three original tracks, all with deep and mysterious elements that have become a marker of Slee's production style, as well as the broader Manjumasi label sound. First up is Grapeseed, a haunting number built around a deep gliding bass riff with echoing bell melodies. The second track is Westvine, again featuring gently modulated bell elements in the lead, while dialing up both the shuffle and groove on a much more syncopated low-end. Finally, we have Bitter Flower, which uses a super deep groove to set the foundation for classic synth elements with a modern twist. Acid-lines echo through the sonic space, alongside a nod to the classic M1 organ texture.
Alongside the originals is a diverse collection of outstanding remixes from highly respected producers. First up is Berlin's Acid Pauli, who turns in an incredible deep and minimal interpretation of Westvine. Here the focus is on solid bass and little organic details that grow gently through the mix, like tendrils into a brick foundation. Next is Seattle-based Jeff McIlwain, aka Lusine, who pulls the tempo of Grapeseed down to a very mellow 100bpm, the perfect pace for a deep bass burner that works its way steadily through an intense slow-mo crescendo. Finally, Birmingham's Tom Flynn takes aim more squarely at the dancefloor, with a proper ripping take on Bitter Flower. Driving synths and arpeggios recall the energy and euphoria of classic progressive house, but Tom's touch employs a more modern and sophisticated sound palette, expressing both melancholy and intrigue.