ScanOne – E​.​OneSeven EP

3 out of 5

Label: Analogical Force

Produced by: Jude Greenaway

I definitely dig this conceptually: ScanOne steps outside of the confines of sounds-like-so-and-so IDM adopters and uses some of the genre affectations to craft a couple of appealing breaks-style tracks, and then escapes the trappings more completely on a futurism third track, the grooving Smoke Machine. But this ends up being the standout: despite some impressive percussion and definite catchiness, the opening tracks on E.OneSeven feel limited, never stepping outside of some comfortable boundaries.

Opener Core5 and followup Re-Turn are rather similar structurally, even sounding somewhat indistinguishable initially, but they do find their own respective ways after the synth layers kick in over their breakbeats, the former a bit bouncier versus the latter’s aggression. The restraint ScanOne manages with the drumming is a neat trick: it’s all BPM angular that you’ll recognize from the AFX Rephlex club, but Scan doesn’t try to chop it up with anything fancy – they hold on it, turning the rolling percussion more into a melody than something to impressive via its cut up weirdness. This ends up giving the tracks a varyingly jazzy and groovy flair – notes of early Squarepusher, or some Ninja Tune stuff from the 00s – but once we’re there… we’re there. The songs establish what they can do 30 seconds in. It’s not repetitive by any means, and ScanOne has a few effects to add in and remove to keep things moving, just once you’re down with the mash-up of crazy percussion to more laid-back synths, you can zone out to it.

Smoke Machine is, as mentioned, the more solid tracks, and it’s because it doesn’t go by this playbook: it’s not relying on the drumming juxtaposition, and so forges a more unique path as something a bit darker and house-tinged.

A remix of Re-Turn by Bitstream Martian can’t add much beyond a few extra effects and upping the percussion in the mix. A more adventurous mix or a new ScanOne track would’ve been preferred.