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Ore – ‘State’ EP (Civil Music)

Bar the impressive results of this ‘State’ EP and the goldmine of unreleased originals in his Hyp mix, next-to-nothing is yet known of Ore.

Signing to Civil Music alone suggests that his/her Techno isn’t straightforward. Their output has skirted around the edges of this recent UK surge in the sound, and the familiar jungle sample that opens ‘Four Pins’ squashes any worries that they’ve given in. It is 4×4 from the off though – thinned-out kicks alternate with airy, shuffling cymbals in a 16-bar, DJ-friendly intro. A bottom-heavy bassline creeps in for the next 16, building up to an engaging breakdown. That echoing bell sample is balanced against a pitched-vocal, ascending towards the telling first drop, which arrives with promising conviction. Evolving to lead the track, the bassline is compressed around shadowed kicks, and rolls on through peaks-and-troughs until the arrival a fresh vocal part. The drum structure temporarily disappears, returning with a reverb-drenched synth line that gives the whole thing a new focus and distinctly-warehouse feel.

‘Rise’, comfortably the most refined track on the EP, softens the tone with textural depth, distant vocals and comparatively temperate percussion. It’s arranged much in the same style as the opener, with similar EQ-cuts, dynamic energy and layered mid-range. It’s notably slower than each of the other four tracks, making its spacy aura and ethereal tones all the more absorbing. Perhaps not a track you’d turn to at peak-time in a club, but one that completes a quality A-side with crisp execution and genuine authenticity.

‘Cafe Torrefies’ and ‘Nolita’ are more of the same – they stick to the formula of the previous material, exploring little new ground. That said, they both hold their own as effective club weapons and contribute to the record as a whole. The former opens with choppy rhythms and cutting snares. Chunky chords and a robust low-end merge in the stripped-down mid-section, joined by subtle changes in percussive elements; fans of Paleman, South London Ordnance and the like, this one’s for you. ‘Nolita’ has a rigid first 75 seconds, far from groundbreaking and intended to be mixed. Its climax, compared to those of the first three tracks, comes out of nowhere, and is particularly potent for doing so. A blanket of washy noise is shoed into the mix, dynamically riding above the drums and slightly offsetting the rhythmical balance.

For the digital remix accompaniment Civil mainstay Darling Farah adds layers of atmosphere and buries the sharp-edges of ‘Rise’, whilst Jon Convex, taking on the same track, goes the other way, stripping back the airy textures into mechanic techno and adds a bullish bassline. The two counteract each other well and top off a quality EP.

With what sounds like a fairly concise palette, Ore has manipulated samples and dancefloor know-how to great effect. It may be his first outing on record, but with each track you feel more and more like these aren’t the first results of trial-and-error on a recently-cracked DAW. One to watch.

Richard Akingbehin
The ‘State’ EP is out now on Civil Music