4 out of 5
Label: Permanent Vacation
Produced by: Ed DMX
I would definitely say I’m not a fan of 80s club techno, and I’m doubly-definitely not a fan of vocals in my techno. And yet, Ed DMX knows how to make these things fun.
‘The Game’s A-side features two mixes that play pretty exclusively into what I’m talking about: a male vocalist (Ed?) singing about ‘the game’ of life and living over a catchy, new wave beat. This is a single straight out of the 80s, the would sit comfortably alongside an radio fare from the era; thankfully, it’s an incredibly catchy single as well, and the lyrics, though simple rhyming couplets, aren’t overly cheeky – you can listen to it as a legit song.
Proving that is that the two mixes (a dance mix; an original mix) are fairly similar, but the song has enough texture to it that listening to two similar versions back to back isn’t a bad thing, and there are enough differences – with the original’s production moving it into a more modern feel – so that it merits both versions.
The B-side plays with retro tones but goes more IDM and vocal-less. ‘Disco Theme’ has a funky backing that’s true to its title, but Ed cuts it up entertainingly atop, employing horn-like sounds for a slightly edgier sound, cutely paralleled by glitzy keys and shimmers. Closer ‘Taking Your Own Advice’ continues the juxtaposition of sounds, keeping with the release’s general dancey groove, video gamey bleeps and bloops atop.