Release Date: 02/07/2014
McPhee is one of those artists seemingly in possession of hoards of unheard productions, ready to be unleashed whenever he sees fit. Take the title track of his latest Hypercolour released EP; ‘CC XX YY NNNNN’ has been floating about in mixes since at least 2012, featuring in McPhee’s Boiler Room debut. Rough-edged, bumping House grooves underpin the track, yet its minimal use of tonality places it in the realms of techno as much as anything else. A single, harshly filtered riff dances playfully in the backdrop before being shunted out of sight by McPhee’s creaking drones and stuttering vocal chops.
If the original can be considered as McPhee’s attempt to strip the House format back as far as possible, Trevino’s interpretation is its full-fat alternative. Laced with funk-tinged melodic progressions and slinking drum machines, Trevino’s remix puts ‘CC XX YY NNNNN’ more in the context of heaving ’90s super-clubs rather than darkened techno basements.
This shift in context doesn’t last long however, McPhee’s lurching ‘Branch’ calling to mind Matthew Herbert’s early productions with its pots and pans percussion and waltzing, light-footed rhythms. Closing the EP with a similarly illegible title, ‘DD YYY ZZ OOOOO’ feels downcast and reflective, tripped out tape echoes and abrasive dub-stabs working into a mesmeric pulse.
In these assorted offerings Hypercolour have managed to pull together a release which encapsulates the charm held in much of McPhee’s work; dark, finely crafted House & Techno, but with enough quirks and idiosyncrasies raise plenty of smiles, despite the often darkened aesthetics.