Various Artists – PN17


Manchester label Prime Numbers bring us the latest installment in their three-track EP series with this very tasty release. Following some big records from the likes of Move D, Andres, and everyone’s favourite organic beat artisan Motor City Drum Ensemble, you could certainly say that PN17 enjoys a lofty lookout from the shoulders of its predecessors. But there is no doubt that this EP holds its own ostensive presence, with delightfully disparate measures of stylish House and dance floor stomping Techno.

Adesse starts things off with some luscious Latin vibes in ‘Baayi‘. Soulful low key vocals play on a warm melody and an easygoing beat that meanders through open high hats, wood blocks and shuffling maracas. Sharper electronic claps later accent the escalating baseline to add a subtle edge to the composition, and when Adesse injects more energy by yanking out the bass kicks and throwing them back in at weird intervals (something we more readily associate with tech house sets) you increasingly get the sense that you’re hearing an organic beat unfold live.

Track 2 kicks things up a notch with big acid house sounds on a punchy Techno pulse. Far from being a generic 90’s style warehouse belter, UK based Truss harmonises spacey synths with an addictively melodic chord progression that’s guaranteed to get your brain ticking over while those fists are pumping. Anyone with a penchant for tuneful builders will find it hard to resist ebullient keys that grow from a tempting hook into a fully-fledged floor stomper with the help of a lot of big drums and some nice frequency modulation.

With its bold layers and catchy details, like offbeat rhythms that come out of nowhere and drop you in the frenzy of the ongoing build, I can’t resist tagging ‘Redbrook‘ my highlight of the release.

The EP finishes up with a moody, vocally driven banger from the young and talented Massimo Di Lena. More hard hitting acidic synths are less obviously framed in deep tones and a swinging vocal hook. The intermittent conversational voice sample (that might once have been more at home on the weirder side of Seth Troxler’s vocal library) occasionally overrides weighty drums to create a deeper, thicker atmosphere, narrating a hazy flirtation between two sub-genres that aren’t often caught holding hands. Industrial strength claps that can only have been sampled from the roughest of Italian shipyards emphasise this track’s big potential for the more serious 4am dance floors.

Doubtless the more experimental of the three, ‘You Better Hear‘ is certainly worth wrestling with.

PN17 stays true to the label’s eclectic foundations, progressing through an enticing mix of styles to produce an EP that has good depth, loads of energy and more class than there are natural numbers divisible by only 1 and themselves.

This EP is out on February 25th, but you can pre-order it here