Artist: Jody Barr
Title: Marlon Brando EP
Label: Last Night On Earth
Cat No: LNOE091
Release Date: Out Now!
Genre: Techno / House
After detonating on to the scene back in 2015 with dancefloor slaying releases on Krankbrothers eponymously named label, Jody Barr has been rapidly forging his own unique path through the ever more saturated house and techno scene. Rather than releasing on a plethora of established labels, he has chosen instead to do it himself; setting up the excellent Portable Minds label for his own non-conformist releases. More recently, he was persuaded to showcase his talent on James Zabiela’s Born Electric label for a pair of superb EPs. Championed from the start by Sasha, he arrives with perhaps his biggest release to date on the progressive legends Last Night On Earth imprint. Time then to find out what all the fuss is about…
The EP opens with ‘Marlon Brando’ swaggering along with a ball-breaking analog thud and some super sharp drum programming. A dark pared-back groove and clipped 909 hats lead the assault whilst heavy sub-bass rumbles beneath discordant FM synth lines. Mid-way through a filthy acid riff kicks in and the percussion fires up but there remains a sense of brooding tension and restraint as if Barr’s finger is hovering just over the trigger. This is stark modern techno that goes straight for the jugular prowling across those warehouse spaces with all the intent of one of Corleone’s own hitmen. Dark and ruthless; the Godfather himself would be proud.
‘Filtered Images’ sees Barr flexing his slightly more progressive muscles with some bittersweet chord changes, fine melodic work and soaring strings evoking the halcyon days of house. Nevertheless, the techno vibe remains evident with crisp military hand claps, a brutal deep kick drum and minor techno stabs which permeate the rest of the track. Already seeing some rotation this will certainly connect with fans of the label, deeper techno purveyors and showcases Barr’s versatility as a producer.
Finally, Belgium’s Audiotape becomes part of the LNOE family and sweeps in to take ‘Brando’ in a different direction. Contrasting the dark groove of the original with emotive pacific state style strings, he creates a version which doesn’t stray too far from the original but adds some well-conceived melodic elements. If the a-side is just little too sparse for your taste, then this is the place to head.
In summary, it’s great to see Last Night Of Earth continuing its recent trend of getting behind exciting techno producers who are putting their own stamp on the genre. This is an EP that straddles the gap between techno and stripped to the bone house music with aplomb. Barr continues his uncompromising ascent into the big game and being taken under the wing of the man like Sasha will do his cause no harm whatsoever. If brutal acid-tinged angular techno mingled with mesmerising nostalgic house is your thing, then this EP should be in your box. Dark, druggy and devastating the release launches Barr’s productions to an even bigger audience in some style.