Strictly limited to 215 pieces of vinyl, with no digital release planned, it was more than an honor for us at 5 Mag to receive a copy of this 12″ EP from Common Labour founder Tuomo Aslak Puranen. The divide between vinyl and digital music consumers has perhaps never been greater than right now, with so much wonderful music simply unavailable on one format or the other. The unfortunate effect is that some artists and labels have become essentially invisible to large numbers of DJs and music fans. Common Labour might well be a new name to all but the most dedicated and diligent crate diggers, which is unfortunate because it’s a truly fantastic little record label. Speaking as a partially reformed vinyl junkie, this lovely 12″ has not aided my recovery and it will definitely be finding its way onto the same record shelves I swore I’d never add to again…
First coming to my attention as half of talented Helsinki production duo Sachrias & Aslak, Tuomo has been releasing his own distinctive solo work for some years under the alias ‘potholes’. Having known Tuomo for a long time now, I can attest that ‘Common Labour’ couldn’t be more of an apt name for his own label: this guy is all about hard work, motivated entirely by love for the music. Founding the imprint in 2013, Tuomo paid for pressing and organized his own distribution; only ever releasing vinyl in teasingly small numbers. As expected from a Nordic label, the artwork and design are simple and iconic, making the product feel unique, rare and valuable. Tuomo’s clear creative vision defined a very specific sound for Common Labour right from the start; after all, there’s nothing quite like putting your money where your mouth is to keep you focused.
Release number 8 on Common Labour showcases the talents of up and coming Estonian producer Kask, a member the collective behind Tallinn’s ‘Lekker’ club collective who recently found themselves the subject of a Boiler Room special. The brilliantly titled ‘Heavy Petting EP’ opens in languid and jazzy style with smooth, vintage-sounding deep house workout ‘Oh My’. Title track ‘Heavy Petting’ opens up with afrobeat-tinged rhythms before taking flight into straight up hypnotic club territory. Reworking ‘Heavy Petting’ under his ‘potholes’ alias, label founder Tuomo slows the tempo and sets sail into floaty, nostalgic waters before dropping anchor with a deceptively powerful bass-line. Finally, ‘The Great Explorer’ provides a dose of timeless, dreamy and melodic techno, tugging at the heartstrings with it’s lush, other-worldly chords.
Kask: Heavy Petting (Common Labour)
A1. Kask: “Oh My” (6:36)
A2. Kask: “Heavy Petting” (5:46)
B1. Kask: “Heavy Petting” (Potholes remix) (5:51)
B2. Kask: “The Great Explorer” (6:42)