apart from being known for founding the infamous vinyl imprint subaltern records and for his residency on sub.fm, gabriele romeo aka. mentha has made quite a name for himself with his jazz-influenced bass music productions. this lp is a selection of tracks from his vault, showcasing his musical abilities and tasteful compositions in this self-release.
mentha records steps up with a various release called into yourself featuring four emotive compositions that span the deep house spectrum. tides by michael lovatt starts the 12inch with lush chords and a deep baseline that gives off a warm feeling. kareem ali is up next with arnaldo tamayo mendez, a sensual track that is packed full of frequencies as ali shows off his harmonic and arrangement skills. the flip side begins with an anaxander piece called unspoken , with an emotive motif that displays homage to a classic deep house sound. michael zucker is holding up the last leg with together, this melancholy tune seeps its way slowly into your cells through an invasion of warm tones. into yourself is a solid 12inch for the deep house soldiers.
mentha records calls on the services of hakim murphy to rock a record titled ambidextrous to amphibious. the four track 12 inch illustrates murphys ability to create different styles, tempos, and textures. the a side begins with sickness, which displays a sparkling synth line that grooves from beginning to end. a2 is a beatdown tune called spaceness is filled to the brim with texture and harmonic goodness. an acid house banger called merge starts the flip side that features a bubble acid line and moving percussion. panty hose silences ends the record with its jazzy influenced tones and flowing arp lines. a release that is good for home, club, and warehouse use.
a bonafide legend of chicago house and techno, dj skull has done the business since the early days on all manner of labels, and he s still on it now. shoring up at mentha for this no-nonsense four tracker, skull is on especially deep form here as he heads inwards with the subtle shuffle of -accent- and the insistent melodic mantras of -on the double-. the story is no different on the b side, although -rythmic- sports a more sprightly set of drums in amongst the strafing synth lines before -the unknown land- turns out one of the more eerie jack tracks of our time.
largely sequencer-based composition practices opened up barera s usual hand-playing approach and allowed him to create rich and melodic, yet precise and powerful techno. -the opportunist- conjures images of arriving in darkness, taking what you can, and leaving quickly to avoid detection. -discipline- is barera s full-on workout, with all the rushes associated, itself very much a product of discipline. -a new future- suggests an optimistic if uncertain outlook, a world where anything is possible, while -last glacial maximum,- which refers to a period in the earth s history when ice sheets were at their most recent maximum extension, represents a somewhat bleaker view. the musically kindred spirits behind massachusetts-based mentha records are ideal partners in this project, warmly embracing barera s wide-eyed techno concepts.
subaltern records is a new label whose goal is to support quality bass music. with support from the likes of bunzer0, syte, dj foster and fable, mentha and murks 1992 leads the first of many upcoming releases in the subaltern records catalogue.