The Emperor Machine – Dévoilez-Vous (incl Mudd & T Kutt Remixes)




Ahead of the release of his hotly anticipated ninth album as the Emperor Machine, Island Boogie, Andrew Meecham releases a club-focused 12” featuring some dancefloor dubs and reworks of key LP cuts.

Island Boogie arrives four years after Meecham’s previous full-length, Music Not Safari, and sees the veteran producer deliver his most ‘personal’ set yet – a collection of kaleidoscopic, cosmic-leaning, dub disco-influenced neo-boogie excursions inspired by his love of the custom-built soundsystem at Rotation Garden Party, an annual micro-festival founded by a group of friends including his former Chicken Lips production partner Dean Meredith.

It’s fitting, then, that the EP begins with a superb interpretation of ‘’Dévoilez-Vous’ by T-Kutt, AKA Meredith and long-term studio partner Ben Shenton. The pair’s ‘AM FM Club Mix’ sits somewhere between classic Prelude-style electrofunk, NYC proto-house and early British interpretations of American house music. Séverine Mouletin’s chopped-up improvised vocals weave in and out of sun-bright keyboard riffs, colourful synthesiser motifs, heady synth-strings, D-Train style synth-bass and delay-laden machine drums. It’s a superb re-imagination of one of the album’s most stellar moments.

The EP’s other headline-grabbing remix comes courtesy of Leng co-founder Paul Murphy AKA Mudd. He reworks title track ‘Island Boogie’, teasing out the spacey synths and languid jazz-funk grooves of Meecham’s original mix and dialling them up to the max. The resultant revision sparkles with crunchy clavinet licks, mazy synth and electric piano solos, and spacey chords rising above a mid-tempo dancefloor groove.

To complete a strong package, Meecham adds two dubs in his distinctively stripped-back, tape echo-heavy style. He first takes on EP title track ‘Dévoilez-Vous’, wrapping vintage drum machine hits in oodles of space echo and dub delay while devoting more time and space to the killer bassline, Rupert Brown’s infectious hand percussion, and Mouletin’s vocalisations.

To round off the EP, he dubs out album epic ‘La Cassette’, another collaboration with Mouletin that also features additional percussion by Brown. Like the original synth-powered dancefloor dubs of the early-to-mid-80s that have long been an inspiration, Meecham’s ‘La Cassette’ dub features key musical elements – many drenched in trippy effects – popping in and out of the mix, while his sturdy drums and memorable bassline spar with Brown’s percussion below.

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