Alfie MacGibbon’s Graphics moniker has become synonymous with high quality, impressively detailed productions – a true craftsman of creative tech house. Residing on the Made to Play label – an imprint that’s steadily cementing its position within the collective house music consciousness with a string of solid releases over its five year existence – MacGibbon has returned with another slice of forward-thinking electronica in the shape of ‘Mama Grizzlies’. His fifth release for Made to Play, the EP also contains a number of remixes from various contemporaries – all of who throw down their own take on the title track – as well as another MacGibbon production in the form of ‘I Colour Her Hair’s Detroit vocals and bubbling house rhythms.
However, the focus here is on lead track ‘Mama Grizzlies’ – one of the creepier bits of experimental house you’re likely to hear all year. A repeated, re-pitched, re-contextualised vocal phrase loops hypnotically in tandem with round-bodied bass and tropical rhythms, the track evolving melodically as it builds. The working and reworking of vocal samples has been a feature of MacGibbon’s work in the past (see free download ‘The Provoker’ over at his Soundcloud page for proof), and it’s a technique he utilises adeptly in a creation of mood. Coupled with an ear for the glitch and blips, as well as a keen sense of arrangement, it’s a devastating production arsenal that is on show on ‘Mama Grizzlies’.
Highlights from the remix offerings include Montreal-based Prince Club’s hard techno refit, wrenching the vocal samples into yet-further twisted realms, while Roska drops a characteristic dubstep shuffle under some thick bass and scraps of synths. But none can quite better the off-centre, uneasy feel of MacGibbon’s original; a strong start to a new year of quality releases from Made to Play.
‘Mama Grizzlies’ will be released via Made To Play on January 23.