In macroeconomics they call it the “Brain Drain” or more elegantly “the flight of human capital” – the migration of intelligent people from poor countries to seek out their fortune in wealthier lands.
In Chicago, it’s called “growing up”. Every so many years, the flower or at a significant slice of the new generation of music producers seems to leave this place and finds a wider audience and greater acclaim abroad. (Perversely, that’s usually when people from Chicago began praising them, too.) Kate is in the UK, it seems we’ve lost Tevo to Germany and Steven Tang appears to have joined him. The latter’s Emphasis Recordings still has enough reach to find us back home, though, and Steven is introducing us to some of the discoveries he’s met on his way.
Tapirus hails from Rotterdam but “What Do You Recon” is as much of an acid jack track as anyone from the remnants of the industrial Midwest has ever made. If the flurry of percussion and hard acid doesn’t knock something off the wall, you’re not playing it right. As “Recon” rages, “Had To Walk Away Girl” purrs – the 303 rises and falls in a thick current of glistening synths and a minimal pulse. “Specific Epithet” brings to mind some of Planet E when Planet E was still Planet E. The EP flows in its way, from the title track – an emotional soundscape of chilling beauty – to the rude and tamed acid in the center and back to the confidently elegant and melodic by the runout. If Steven has more records like this in his bag to share with us, the journey’s been worth the reward.