Project Squared, the London-based offshoot of Berlin dub techno label Project Mooncircle, have set about diversifying their UK talent with an untitled 12″s featuring tracks from Bristol hotshot Kowton and Manchester’s Tom Dicicco (pictured). Opening with Dicocco’s unnamed dub tech crawler, the flip sees both producers reimagining each other’s work to mesmeric effect.
Dicicco is the flag-waving, card-carrying techno guy here while Kowton prefers things slightly more restrained and mysterious. As such, Tom’s offering on the A-side is a simple but effective straight techno grinder, replete with all the pounding kicks and steadily morphing pads that entails. In contrast, Kowton’s track creeps along menacingly, the occasional mutated vocal smothered by wailing synths draped over a stark percussive framework. The B-side opens with Kowton slowing the tempo and rounding out the bass sound of Dicicco’s effort, bringing the vocal to the front of its now cavernous atmosphere. The final track sees Dicicco turning the bare bones Kowton provided into a billowing tribal groove.
While Dicicco’s efforts are well worth the listen, it is Kowton’s demonstration of versatility that makes this such an exciting record. Much like fellow Bristolian Julio Bashmore, Kowton has gone from obscure house producer to massively promising rising star in around twelve months. Here’s to an even stronger 2012!