Artist: John Heckle
Label: Super Rhythm Trax
Cat No: SRTX019
Released: Out Now!
Genre: Tech House / Techno
John Heckle seems to be going from strength to strength. After adding to his already successful ‘Head Front Panel’ series at the end of last year, John then released a triumph of an album with ‘Tone To Voice’ on his own Tabernacle imprint in April. Clearly never satisfied, 2017 has also seen releases from John on 30303, Chiwax, Moondance Records, et al. Now John returns with what might be the anthem for the upcoming Australian summer.
After a few seconds of cute little chimes, John wastes no time before hitting us with the ‘4am Chord’. And what a beauty she is. In an instant all that you’ve ever loved about house & techno music, even life & love itself washes over you (Isn’t it amazing how that right chord, bass line even just a kick can do that), simple, quick turnaround and John sends us on our way with a bouncing, fat kick, snapping hats, claps and all, the hats become more intense at ever short break as a sweet melody begins whistling a melancholic tune in the distance. The melody peaks evaporate and make way for the rolling, playful – perfect bassline. It’s such a simple track in essence but if you listen carefully the amount of shifting melodies and divinely placed, soulful strings are amazing. ‘ 4am Chord’ is a magical piece, one of those rare gems that seems to capture everything that is beautiful and pure in dance music.
Really where can you go from there, if I wrote ‘4am Chord’ then had to back that up with another tune I reckon I’d be tempted to hang up the headphones and go out on a winner, but not Heckle. Oh no, ‘JV Ride’ is as good a devastating piano stormer as you’ll ever hear. It’s a beast! Again not messing around, this time Heckle offers up a deejay friendly, albeit short, straight kick intro before he descends upon you with some piano-driven tech-house glory! The hats are hammering, the kick is bouncing and a big ass bassline backs up those old school piano chords. Not milking it too hard just yet Heckle backs off and breaks it up with funky jazzy rhythms, and lush, drifting chords. Again, another winner with that magic old school flavor.
Wrapping us up is the title track ‘Changes’. All alone on the B-side, ‘Changes’ kicks off with a subtle jazzy keys workout, over that same, glorious bouncing kick that’s been our companion for the duration of the EP. At the first break, we’re greeted by a gentle, silky synth that turns quickly into an awesome lo-fi acid jam that’s sound a lot more like classic John Heckle. The acid jam squelches away over those aforementioned jazzy keys, while all manner of silky synths wash over you. Seriously at this point, the last track of the ‘Changes’ EP could have been a complete dud and I’d still be running up to people in the street demanding that they listen to it, but that’s far from the case, it’s a lovely little tune. Another of Heckle’s 8 plus minute hardware jams that he puts out every now and then.
This EP is a triumph, a perfect storm between both one of the greatest artists and one of the greatest labels getting around at the moment. If the Changes EP isn’t in the conversation for release of the year, well… I’ll eat my hat!