The legendary Tilt follow up a crop of strong releases on Pro-B-Tech (including their album ‘Resonator’) with their first appearance on Stripped, ‘Quad’, offering up four tracks of next-level house, techno, and progressive.
‘Berghain’ is 10 minutes of acidic sound and fury, with crisp percussion and a relentlessly hypnotic 303 bassline providing the frame for all manner of weaving, slow-burning acid lines, high-pitched tension-inducing synths, cool vocal samples, simmering breakdowns, and killer drops. Altogether now: This. Is… Acid…
‘Exhale’ is my pick of the four on ‘Quad’, kicking off with heavy kicks and warm old-school synth sounds, before introducing a bright main hook and trippy vocal samples. It’s after the first breakdown that the track really shows its mettle though, with a low-key but muscular bassline really hitting the mark and a busy motif adding considerable urgency, while the later breakdown briefly adds a lovely floaty touch. This feels like Tilt are offering a really fresh and modern take on classic rave themes, and it’s awesome.
‘Fixation’ is the lightest in mood of Tilt’s four tracks here, though you might not think it from its heavily percussive introduction. But the centrepiece of the track is a spiky, celebratory hook, and around this Tilt work big snare rolls and cleverly-timed ‘fixation’ vocal samples, leading to a huge, acid-tinged built up. It’s probably my least favourite of the tracks on ‘Quad’, but it’s irresistible and infectious all the same.
Finally, ‘We Are the Wolf’ sees Tilt in melodic progressive house territory, creating something beautiful with burbling motifs, emotionally-charged key changes, manipulated vocal sounds, and sweeping pads. Electrifying, buzzing synths add new textures in the middle section of the track, and all of the elements come together for a fitting and satisfying finale for both the track and the EP.
This is a superb EP from Stripped that proves, if anyone had any doubt, that 20 years in Tilt are still producing some of the best, most innovative music out there. Essential.