Ron Hardy @ C.O.D.’s (Chicago) 1987
“Free USA” is the first full-length album by Protect-U, the Washington, DC-based duo of Aaron Leitko and Future Times Records co-founder Mike Petillo. On their two Future Times EPs – Double Rainbow and World Music – Leitko and Petillo poured layers of ambient drift onto nearly-steady house foundations, creating long and propulsive zone-outs. On Free USA, Protect-U doesn’t depart from this sound as much as they launch further and further out with it, specifically in the rhythm section, which pivots and lurches into unexpected places throughout the LP. Melodically, automation and humanity combine with dizzying, psychedelic grace, making the sound design sparkle with cool precision. From the bright, super-soaked opening track ”Needs” to the boxed-in drum clunk and iced-out coda of ”Down the Tubes,” Free USA showcases Protect-U’s constantly mutating strand of electronic music.
Sir Leon Greg (another incarnation of Perseus Traxx) jams out then reinforces some edits of forgotten classics with a raw & personal analogue treatment for a devastating full effect on the dance floor, that is a far cry from the proliferation of over-produced squeaky-clean software edits. These are basic, raw ideas thrown down quickly and capturing the energy on 1/4” tape.
7th project from Dj Aakmael. ‘Rise’ is a blissful, relaxed string based track with playful keys thats perfect for any chill lounge or dance floor. ‘Jazz Piece’ is a sampled piece of art, where Aak cuts and chops a vintage groove for the 2014 crowd with that old NJ deep house feel. ‘Untitled 105’ is a dope club thumper that takes you back to that headknod feeling. ‘Untitled 101’ with its thumping beat and dramatic horns & strings concludes a well-packaged project.
Tere comes pommes002 reviving the worst or the best 90ies club music had to offer. The A-Side belongs to Daniel Nentwig aka one half of The Working Elite, one third of the now defunct Extraproduktionen and Whitest Boy Alives Keyboard-Wizard. Hes wearing his brandnew D Lonely Al sweater and presents “We can have it all”, a well hung slice of sparkeling proto house. Next up is the debut release of Cologne based Skateboard Pro Jeremy Reinhard aka Jeremaier. “Goldnugget” is something like the alternative college radio version of Show Me Love by Robin S. The EP closes with a Lauer remix.