Area: Youth EP

Sometimes I love living in this cold and heartless meatgrinder of a city. Nowhere else in the world could I pick up a record outside of my own private free speech zone, fall in love and then place it to someone I’ve seen a half dozen times in the last couple of years. Area is M50, who’s frequently DJing at Techno events at SmartBar and other locales, and Youth is a fairly accessible introduction to what he can do.

“Hardplace”, despite the name, is a mellow morsel of brain candy with a bass line a like a steel metronome that keeps bringing you back to some emotional center no matter how far the rest of the track strays. “Ajumas” is far more energetic. The Anton Zap “version” is an uptempo stomp that brings to mind something from Jeff Mills’ (very) early days. This is also the most flexible of the three tracks – you won’t need to nudge the pitch control much in either direction to make this fit in any set where Tech can find a home. The original mix also emphasizes the airyness of the entire enterprise: the sound is a bit muted, hesitating almost, and then breaking free in a flurry of pads. I remember a DJ who is very old school, describing records by someone not quite as old (but still pretty damn old school to me), as “mental”. If you’re a head rising to the occasion, I think that’s what you’ll take away from all of this.

There’s a high price tag on Youth, but it’s worth it: vinyl from Kimochi is less a commodity than a kind of art. Between the music and the wrapper, this EP is like an artefact ripped out of the fabric of a better time and smuggled back to the mundane world. Pass on this one at your own risk.