After a reputably colourful twenty years of producing and selecting, Red Rack’Em is back. Danny Berman’s prodigious pseudonym is known for releasing deep house and techno tracks under his Bergerac imprint and for commanding another two well-regarded labels supported by dons Midland, Ben UFO and Joy Orbison, among others. His new record comes after a break from releasing within his own label in 2012, when he told IDJ going out all the time in Berlin meant, “I didn’t have time to focus on my music.”
Wolf Music, City Fly and Untracked saw the release of his Wolf and Zoned 12” in 2014, but this month Red Rack’Em is back with three new tracks and a record fulla weapons.
Portioned into perennial progressions, the first side features Wonky Bassline Disco Banger – a tune sashaying around synths and saccharine strings. It smiles with classic house, disco, soul and jazz while sounding reminiscent of Red’s In Love Again, but with a Mr Scruff genre bend. It’s one of Red’s strongest tracks to date.
But in a similar Mr Scruff style, the records’ residual tracks are eclectic fillers. Jazzy House Extension is a frantic jazz piece that plays anxious keys before a double cello breaks the space. It’s luxuriously chaotic and the kind of piece you’d play if you wanted to impress your neighbours, but it weren’t for that walking bass your cultural conversation would be lost amongst the trills.
And Destined is one of those conceptual deep house tunes. Warbled amongst sporadic glitches, the techno climbs in pitches against spiralling ‘I knew that he was destined’ samples. Just as we’re getting comfortable with the steady beat and praise-worthy Jerry Jemmott quotes, the techno eerily changes lane with a bluesy finish. It’s four AM and we’re left with Destined’s empty bass while the lights filter on in the club. We’re destined for bed.
Danny Berman isn’t a novice, and has many figures in the pots of techno. With a strong start to 2015 and other projects in the work – like his Smugglers Inn radio show that you must check out – this Red Rack’Em EP is bountifully different and charmingly addictive.