People Get Real – Spiralizer (Abode)

Abode’s first release of 2014 is only the label’s second, but their first from label-boss XY-Me got them off to an impressive and promising start. Here the label offers up two tracks from duo People Get Real, ‘Turngiddy’ and ‘Spiralizer’, while XY-Me delivers a fantastic remix of the title track.

‘Turngiddy’ is the more restrained and subtle of People Get Real’s originals, keeping the tempo measured and building a grungy, low-slung groove with a heaving bassline that reminded me a little of the Digweed-championed classic Shapeshifter’s ‘Flood’. The darkness is nicely offset in the first half by some melodic stabs and subtle organ lines, and in the second by a surprisingly uplifting and hypnotic melody and a piercing robotic motif. I found the latter slightly on the harsh side, but it’s short-lived and didn’t really spoil my enjoyment of the track overall.

‘Spiralizer’ is faster and rawer, delivering a proper warehouse moment with urgent beeps and bleeps, driving percussion, massive snare builds, and an industrial-strength rotating bassline. A simple melody halfway through lightens the mood for a minute, though the sinister bass part hovers in the background throughout as a reminder of where this track’s true loyalties lie. In the end, it’s just a shade too dark and tough for my tastes, but fans of uncompromising techno should definitely check it out.

XY-Me does a truly extraordinary job of transforming ‘Spiralizer’ into a bouncy, peak-time slice of tech-house. Boasting the kind of shapeshifting bass-wobble fans of labels like Dirtybird will love and skipping percussion, the remix also has just enough melody sprinkled in to give it a sweet, warm and emotional edge, with the gorgeous string-led breakdowns around the three- and six-minute marks providing delicate high points. As a lesson in how to balance light and darkness, a sense of fun and a touch of melancholy, this is about as good as it gets.

Abode’s first release suggested that this would be a label that isn’t afraid to take chances and to play fast and loose with the usual genre distinctions, and it’s great to see the second release confirm that impression, with both People Get Real’s originals and XY-Me’s remix drawing widely on influences from house, techno and progressive to create something distinctive. B-side ‘Turngiddy’ is definitely my pick of People Get Real’s contributions, though it’s XY-Me’s remix of ‘Spiralizer’ that really makes the release. 8/10

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