Midnight Snack #29: Marc Houle – Fusion Pop
Fusion Pop is Canadian pioneer Marc Houle’s return to solo output, following collaborations with Click Box and Miss Kittin in 2013. The EP’s pair of original tracks and pair of remixes maneuver through the frayed edges of techno and experimental electronica, akin to his previous Items & Things releases such as 2012’s LP Undercover.
The atypically slow (115 BPM) “Fusion Pop” kicks off the package; a track comprised of sweeping synths, breathy vocals, and break-like percussion which take you for a ride. This is the kind of track that creeps slowly through your ears and into a dark, deep corner of your brain where it will firmly plant itself. It’s almost as if Houle tailored this primarily to include in his live sets, known to showcase his technique of transforming layers upon layers of finely-warped sounds into some of the darkest and most complex dance music you will ever hear. Not to be outdone, the second original, “Hello Friend,” is also an earworm of epic proportions. The track is made more accessible than its precursor with a forward-moving steady groove, but the repetitive, distorted vocal drives it quickly back into familiar psychedelic territory.
Up first on remix duties is Houle’s long-term label-mate Magda, who delivers a punchy, dance floor ready take of “Fusion Pop” aptly dubbed the “Lost in Mezcal Mix.” She injects tribal flair into and steadies the course of the original without compromising any of its experiential qualities. Rounding out the quirky package is a unique mix from NYMA. The established producer combines elements of both original tracks into a minimal techno ride perfect for leading a dance floor down a long, dark rabbit hole. He manages to evade the typical muddiness found when two tracks are combined by leaving each part with room to breathe.
This imaginative release is a welcome reminder of just how diverse techno can, and should, be. It’s a good one to save as a refresher when you feel like all electronic music is starting to sound the same. Fusion Pop will be out on Friday via Items & Things. Until then, check out this preview!
Photo Credit – Gaetan Tracqui