K-Rock ‎– New Deal

2 out of 5

Label: Rephlex / Party Inc.

Produced by: K. Barnett

Two minutes can be plenty of time for laying down a grooving electro beat, and massaging it into a memorable track. Not being familiar with K-Rock’s (Kelly Barnett) output beyond this EP, I can’t surely say whether or not the artist usually delivers such goodness in that timeframe, but a quick Discogs browse and listen shows other releases with some longer runtimes, or erring more toward IDM jitters; New Deal, meanwhile, feels more like breaks intended for spinning, rather than something to listen to for pleasure. Tracks are more disco-oriented, and while there are some really great club beats found across its 8 tracks (plus four more on a bonus 7″), with some fun, 90s-era vocal additions from Linda Lovelace, beyond a couple funky percussion additions, the songs just tend to start and end without much consequence. It’s too bad, really – at least when trying to listen to it as an album – because K-Rock definitely lays down some funky fun: the B-side has slightly moodier edge which gives it some bite, and main tracks on the 7″ are pretty solid jams, but it’s all very abbreviated, preventing anything from landing as a legit single. However, supposing it’s more intended as DJ fodder, I imagine these are likely some good beats.