The Analogue Cops – ‘Hot Brass Dance’ EP (HypeLTD)

Formed in 2010 the  Italian born, Berlin-based duo The Analogue Cops have been releasing House and Techno with an hardware centric ethos on various labels. Notable imprints include Bleep, Vae Victis Records and Bass Culture Records. The twosome have also been self-releasing on their own Restoration Records, where they housed their collaboration with Blawan under the Parassela alias and their project with Panorama Bar resident Steffi under the name Third Side.

Following their ‘In Plain Clothes EP’ released on HypeLTD in February, Lucretio and Marieu return to the Hypercolour offshoot with four raw House grooves. Keeping in line with their  previous release, the ‘Hot Brass Dance EP’ sees Lucretio and Marieu going solo with two tracks each under The Analogue Cops guise. The release is initiated by Lucretio with two tracks on side A, the first of which is ‘Denying’. The 909 hi-hats immediately insinuate an analogue feel, complimented by a mixture of toms and snares consolidated by a snappy short reverb. The intentionally overpowering kick drum is a nod to the ever pervasive industrial revival that in flux, seems to be influencing so many. Bringing the piece to its climax is a crunchily overdriven disco sample. Ever so slightly unquantised, the sample adds to the groove, particularly because of the kick drums still affixed, along with the cleverly programmed subtle percussive hits. At four minutes thirty the track is unusually short which is it’s only hindrance. ‘Denying’ is undeniably catchy and attentively constructed.

A2 ‘Do It Forever’ commences in similar fashion. Analogue drum machines laden with distortion create a dogged bedrock for a track similar to ‘Denying’ in terms of concept, structure and length. The filtered-in sample arouses curiosity,  eventually leading to  the reveal of a brilliantly selected and unexpectedly soulful loop. Again the kick drums intentionally included in the sample add a swing to the groove making the piece more captivating. The string section induces a hypnotic mystic state, largely due to the chord arrangement and modest pitch modulations. I have to say, the soulful sample reminds me of  a DJ Rashad production, and that makes me want to increase the tracks speed to 160bpm, but that’s curiosity getting the best of me. Lucretio demonstrates his finesse when it comes to amalgamating simplistic elements to create original and arresting loop-based music. His vision is clearly defined and well executed.

A more maximal approach is exercised in Marieu’s B-side opener ‘Manipulation’. The title is befitting, as the track consists of a vocal sample launched at different points and looped at various increments. Alternating samples overlay each other to create a dense sequence punctuated at divergent points. Interest is consistently maintained as the ever-evolving phrase points and relationship between various samples play neurological tricks in attempting to become familiar and deconstruct. The acid line introduced should sound out of place alongside the gospel/blues/folk sample, but for some reason, in this context, it works.

B-2 ‘Fall In’ begins more aggressively, establishing an evolving one-bar 303 and a heavy sub-bass. The harshness of the production could be mistaken for naivety but this is obviously a stylistic choice promoted by Marieu. Complimentary synth lines and varying grooves emerge providing motive and impetus. ‘Fall In’ is by far the most maximal and tenacious track on the EP.

While the Analogue Cops have utilised samples in the past, it’s refreshing to hear them used in a more blatant and obvious manner. Paired with unrelenting and robust rhythms the EP maintains originality and effectiveness.

‘Hot Brass Dance EP’ is out now. Buy your copy here

Manveer Roda

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