96 Back is the kind of prodigious talent that can blow the minds of nascent ravers and anorak-clad old heads at the same time.
Ever since 2018’s Provisional Electronics, 96 Back has been hard-wiring ecstasy and emotion into the most synthetic of sounds. Transplanting the surging energy of bleep from his native Sheffield into an increasingly ambitious sonic palette that spans a multitude of genres, eras and continents, producer Evan Majumdar-Swift is the kind of prodigious talent that can blow the minds of nascent ravers and anorak-clad old heads at the same time. Releasing his first few critically-acclaimed projects – his aforementioned debut EP, his stunning debut album, Excitable, Girl and that project’s 2019 follow-up, Issue In Surreal – on cult label Central Processing Unit, more recently the producer has found a home at Local Action and the shift seems fitting. The 96 Back of 2021 seems ready to take on the dance music scene at large, stepping out from behind the computer to really take in the crowd.
Whether it’s going toe-to-toe with some of the best around, including regular partners-in-crime Jabes and Happa, as well as Munich wunderkind Skee Mask, switching up tempos and styles on “pseudo break-up album” ADRISM and 9696 Dream, the first of three projects planned for release on Local Action this year, or collaborating with vocalists for the first time on the upcoming Flex Time, it’s clear that Majumdar-Swift is eager to show us that he’s only just getting started. The pace and variety of his most recent projects is something that’s reflected in his Fact mix. “I tried to keep this mix constantly on its heels, never stopping on one point or energy for too long, trying to touch on as wide array of my influences as possible,” explains the producer, who ricochets between a dizzying array of selections that wrong-foot you just as soon as you think you’ve found a way in.
Opening with a salvo of new releases, including Belia Winnewisser’s anthemic ‘The Cave with Lost Leaves’, glistening, aquatic jungle from J-Shadow and a forthcoming track from Istanbul-based producer and tech developer Granul, 96 Back unleashes a barrage of sounds that seem drawn from the same deep, off-kilter wellspring. Essential B-sides from Joe and The Maghreban rub shoulders with modern classics from Zomby and EPROM, romantic samples and elegant breaks giving way to razor-sharp synthesis and punishing bass mutations. As though you haven’t had enough, to top it off Majumdar-Swift generously swirls Akira Rabelais at his most gorgeous into an unreleased track from the producer himself. If this is a taste of his forthcoming album we’re all in for a treat.
Belia Winnewisser – ‘The Cave With Lost Leaves’
The Slackness of Aged Flesh – ‘Ambition’
J-Shadow – ‘Atlantis’
Granul – ‘Oneshot’
Laughing Ears – ‘Bite The Bullet’
Sentinel 793 – ‘Wind and Water’ (Drumskull remix)
Levantis – ‘Colour’
Yung Bile – ‘Black Bile’
Joe – ‘MPH’
Kassem Mosse – ‘Flowers in May’
The Maghreban – ‘Wrong Move’
Basic Rhythm – ‘Moonlight Fit’
Jimmy Edgar – ‘Bent’ [Feat. Hudson Mohawke]
Zomby – ‘Solar Ashes’
EPROM – ‘Phoneme Gothik’
Tanith – ‘Pure Energy’
TMSV – ‘Nobody Asks’
SDEM – ‘Zygons’
Granul – ‘Cypher VIP’
LO.fm – ‘Drama’
Akira Rabelais – ‘1390 Glower Conf. ii. 20’
96 Back – ‘???’
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