Mutant Beat Dance has returned to Rush Hour. The debut album from renegade trio Mutant Beat Dance (Traxx, Beau Wanzer and Steve Summers) takes the wild and free sound of Chicago’s Music Box era into the 21st Century. Over 25 tracks the album mines an oft cited but rarely understood ground at the intersection of Post-Punk, Minimal Wave, Industrial, Disco Dub, EBM and proto-House / early-House. “Mutant Beat Dance.” is an epic journey into a classic American ideology that had its apex in Chicago. Traxx has been working on this concept in various forms throughout the last decade on release for Discos Capablanca, Rong Music, Hour House Is Your Rush Records, L.I.E.S. (Long Island Electrical Systems), Light Sounds Dark, Rush Hour and his own Nation label finally refining his concept into its most thoroughly developed explored on this the debut M.B.D album that was started in 2015. Mutant Beat Dance was originally a duo made up of Traxx, and self-described weirdo, Chicagoan Beau Wanzer. Given the scope of the new project it became logical and necessary to expand the unit to include its newest member Brooklyn based Steve Summers. Together this hard-working trio has completed an album with an enormous diversity of song styles unlike anything they have ever done before. Unique in its musical range and content from obscure electronics with subliminal messages to funk laden machine grooves, industrial soundscapes, Detroit dirge, cryptic ankle bitter anthems and beyond this is a genre-bending challenging epic of an album.
The prolific Jason Letkiewicz returns to his Steve Summers alias for a suite of post-apocalyptic jack tracks. Across labels like L.I.E.S., Future Times, Echovolt, Nation and Clone, Letkiewicz spent the last decade exploring dimensional rifts between techno, house, noise, ambient and more. After occupying nearly as many cities as monikers he’s landed in Chicago and on local outpost Clear.
Jason Letkiewicz isn’t some fashionista. His efforts predate whatever you want to call the current wave of interest in club music. For his first release on Valcrond Video he offers two tracks as Steve Summers. “Always” builds up as a web of metallic syncopation pulsing with threat. A dangerous motif swerves in like pissed-off porpoises, slick with black grime after an oil spill. Vocals show up: they sound like somebody kidnapped a larynx and forced it to MC at the center of a badass board game. A disembodied voice box in the middle of a cardboard landscape. On “Resist” that same captive voice rings through a metal hockey mask, as the instrumental elements seem to narrate an assault in progress. We’re taping you down to the table, don’t bother to resist. On the B side a Torn Hawk remix takes “Always” to never-never land; the malice of the original track gets dressed up with puffy orange clouds (Cheetos). Traditions go in the toilet, return to the fundamental river, only to wash up in the reeds, fresh again . A melodic explosion hides at the center of the progression under hospital-grade gauze; C-4 strapped to the chest of a stuffed bunny suicide bomber.
BANK Records 7 series continues with a two tracker by Steve Summers and Bookworms. Side A features a track from long time collaborators Jason Letkiewicz and Nicholas Dawson who have showcased their signature free form sound on Letkiewicz Confused House imprint. Side B is a solo cut by Bookworms. The menacing sound of this recording is reminiscent of Dawson’s work you may have heard on his Nord release, Compact Visual Nature. Classic tracks from two of BK’s finest.
Rhythm Based Lovers aka Jason Letkiewicz aka Steve Summers is back on Future Times with a new 12”. Once again the songs are split up in an RBL style, on the Dance Side we have ”Frequency Illusion,” a glorious slap of vibro-house for the deejay crew, coming in hot like a rugged Pal Joey tune, and on the Romance Side we have the slow hypnotic funk of ”Number Games,” complete with dope mantra vox and Italian slo-house chug.