The Hiawatha is Amtrak’s name for the 86 mile train line that connects Chicago to Milwaukee. Midwest techno mavens Grid Based Beats repurpose it for a V/A featuring some of the region’s veteran producers. 5 Mag fave Lester Fitzpatrick leads off with the grinding, churning “Mind Warp.” Theodore Elektrk’s “Relentless Hustle” needs no description beyond the title, though I think I had a flashback to fuzzy cassette dubs of live PA sets from Tripper Information Systems circa 1994 when this one took flight. Tim Vitek’s “Triangle Bass” is mental as fuck and unapologetic about any damage caused. Frankie Vega experiments with a sound way outside of the driving techno track he usually lays down on “Turbulent Flow” – by turns it sounds moody and anxious, like the dark synth of John Carpenter held at Dutch angles. Seducer closes out with the ringing tones of “Ritual Night.” I’ve had my fill of VA comps for awhile – I think too many new labels are trying to appeal to too many people with VA releases that feel scattered, random and incoherent. But this is Grid Based Beats boiled down to its essence.

Various: Hiawatha Service (Grid Based Beats)
1. Lester Fitzpatrick – Mind Warp (07:18)
2. Theodore Elektrk – Relentless Hustle (06:41)
3. Tim Vitek – Triangle Bass (07:02)
4. Frankie Vega – Turbulent Flow (07:38)
5. Seducer – Ritual Night (08:20)


5 Magazine Issue 160Originally published in Music Is A Family: 5 Magazine #160 featuring Louie Vega, The Scumfrog, Fish Go Deep, Terry Hunter & more. Become a member of 5 Magazine for First & Full Access to Real House Music for only $1 per issue!