UK artist Spatial Awareness makes his Jack Trax debut with Neon Sea, a jacking two-track EP that confirms the producer’s self-described eclecticism, seamlessly cutting across the lines of indie, rave, acid, and techno with a range of classic and contemporary percussion, a bubbling 303, a groove-driving arpeggiator, a grimy saw-toothed synth, and plenty of juicy bass.
The title track is a smart, playful inquiry into the movement and quality of sound, with a warm acid undercurrent and a vibrant synth singing in tandem throughout, mimicking each other as an oboe and a viola might do were it an orchestral composition rather than a banging dance track. Of special note is a sweetly symphonic breakdown, which slows the track to a gentle tiptoe, then dramatically accelerates and hurtles the dance floor into a frenzy of kicks, claps, and crashes that comprise the energetic apex, before finally grabbing and locking in a powerful jacking groove for the track’s remaining two minutes and thirty seconds. Cleverly composed though it may be, this one is most definitely not for the faint of heart.
With a heavy, growling bassline out of the gate, “Acid Dysfunction” does not attempt to be anywhere near as subtle as “Neon Sea”, but is characterized by at least as much intrigue. Shakers, congas, and cowbell make an appearance mid-track, while a sharp-tongued acid bassline is punctuated by a droning, cold-toned synth and short vocal clips, giving the track the type of dark, gut-level drive that easily makes its home on nearly any steamy late-night dance floor.