Review of EP 1 EP by Harmonic 313

Harmonic 313
EP 1
EP Review

Harmonic 313 EP 1 EP

The received wisdom is that somewhere between their move from Sheffield to London, the zeitgeist splitting avant-techno label Warp lost it. Whilst there is no denying that the relocation was part of a deliberate skin shedding process, (One which culminated in - splutter - their roster expanding to accommodate the bowler hatted pretension of indie scenesters Maximo Park) bearded college lecturers around the world can grab an organic smoothie, stick Harmonic 313's debut EP and weep tears of erm, blunted joy.

I say debut, but Harmonic 313 is the latest side project from Mark Pritchard, who under a bewildering array of pseudonyms - the most recognisable being alongside Tom Middleton in the almost deified Global Communications - has been making dance music of all hues since the early nineties. In this incarnation he's chosen a template which will resonate with Warp's previously disaffected core audience - the early break beat loops originally lifted wholesale from Detroit pioneers like Juan Atkins - and produced half a dozen tracks of bleep laden retro-transatlantic ear candy for those who covet shoe boxes full of flyers for the Orbit. At it's most effective in it's second (Acid harmonied) and third (Dub/Dubstep etched) segments - there are no track titles - Pritchard sound checks the more obscure Warp old school players such as Plaid, Drexciya and The Elecktroids without ever resorting to out and out theft for highly satisfying effect. The only mis-step is the clichéd occasional use of a Speak and Spell type voice processor, but on this evidence you can relax - old lady Warp still has it.


Andy Peterson