Mark Archer & Shadow Child present MASC – Non Stop EP (Super Rhythm Trax)


Separately, UK electronic producers Mark Archer and Simon Neale both have serious history in the UK dance music scene, the former as one half of rave anarchists Altern-8, and the latter having amassed an impressive backcatalogue under the aliases Dave Spoon and Shadow Child. This 12” EP ‘Non Stop’ offers up the duo’s debut release from their new MASC collaboration, and it certainly manages to live up to its title, offering up four tracks of unreconstructed analogue-driven acid techno.

For the most part the duo adhere to the classic tools of the trade, as wiggling acid 303 lines undulate against rattling drum machine snares and handclaps, the end result paying homage to classic acid tracks more than rewriting the template. ‘It’s Good’ kicks things off with plenty of jacking Chicago energy as cut-up vocal stabs flit against splashing grapeshot snares and hollow-sounding kicks, the phased-out synth trails that rush through the mix adding a sense of trippiness.

‘Non Stop’ meanwhile gets more stripped down and spacious, filtering the spidery snare programming against a thick wormlike 303 bassline, volleys of handclaps rippling out against echoed vocal samples intoning the title phrase, before ‘Eye Feel’ raises the pressure, sending a urgent synth sequence tumbling against factory-line snares and shuffling hi-hats before scattering bright horn stabs and vocal fragments all over the place.

Lastly, longtime Super Rhythm Trax associate Jerome Hill contributes a remix of ‘Non Stop’ that injects far more airy-ness into the original’s rattling grooves, while sending chilly Detroit-tinged synth pads wafting through the dry-sounding rhythms and eerie minor keys. Those looking for a strong dose of unreconstructed acid techno grooves could do much worse than this.


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