Psycatron - Is What It Is
Label: R & S Records – rs0906
Format: Vinyl, 12"
Released: 11 Dec 2009
A Is What It Is (Psycatron Remix)
B Is What It Is (So It Is Mix)
Producer, Engineer – Dave Lievense, Paul Hamill
‘Is What It Is’ marks the culmination of what has been a remarkable year for Psycatron.
The Irish duo, made up of BBC Radio DJ and producer Paul Hamill and producer Dave Lievense have seized taste-makers’ attention over the last 12 months with a string of exceptional releases including ‘Deeper Shades of Black’ (Planet E) and ‘Directions / Tipping Point’ (Tronic Music). Now joining forces with legendary dance label R&S for the double A-side single ‘It Is What It Is’ they’re set to finally break out and achieve the widespread acclaim they so richly deserve.
As is so often the case Psycatron’s overnight success is built on years of honing and refining their craft, most famously as long-time residents at Belfast’s Shine and Stiff Kitten clubs. Though their music is ostensibly ‘dance’, and in particular the techno for which these clubs are famous, they bring to it a much greater musicality and range of influences than the confines of a single genre would suggest.
Take the Psycatron Remix of ‘Is What It Is’ for example. On one hand it’s a driving piece of big-room techno, all driving bassline and skipping, crisply programmed drums, on the other its uplifting but harmonically ambiguous chord sequence would be right at home in one of Radiohead’s more out-there experiments. Put these elements together, mix in a skilfully handled and rewardingly emotive breakdown and you have not only an outstanding record by any measure but one that in its various aspects updates perfectly the legacy of R&S (Aphex Twin, Derrick May, Joey Beltram et al.) for the future.
The ‘So It Is’ Mix meanwhile is a very different but again unusually intelligent take on things, this time with a backdrop of cool and very contemporary minimal beats taking on an old-school Detroit style arrangement elsewhere.
All in all in then this is a double-header of unusual quality; powerful cutting-edge techno with a psychedelic edge that like all the best R&S records is capable of conquering the big-room and the inner-space alike. Better yet as it’s heralded as the start of an ongoing collaboration between artist and label it means we’ll have more of the same to look forward to in 2010.
Psycatron - Is What It Is (Psycatron Final Remix)