With the eventual release of Detroit music documentary God Said Give ‘Em Drum Machines (debuting in Chicago next month), it should finally be the turn of Santonio Echols to get more shine with some of the other illustrious names associated with Detroit Techno and electronic music. He tipped me off about this record about a month ago and I couldn’t think of a better home: Shift Imprint has very quietly been building a catalog with some of best unsung talent of Chicago and Detroit – the last three records now will feature Reggie Dokes, DJ Skull’s amazing Country Air and this one from Mr. Echols. And Thirty Two finds Santonio, after some 30 years, somehow at the top of his game.
“Trembles” is pure Santonio – it headfakes about six different ways before it dunks on your face. The drum line is phenomenal, pure kinetic bliss, and the when the vocal kicks in you’ll be scraping people off the walls. “Shake It” demands you play it and play it loud: if you’re one of those DJs that diligently stays out of the red, this one is gonna tempt ya. “The Majestic” has a dark, deep cracked-up sound that reminds me of Jerome Baker at his freakiest. Nathan Surreal remixes “The Burner” to close it out.
Santonio Echols: Thirty Two EP / Shift Imprint
A1. Santonio Echols: “Trembles”
A2. Santonio Echols: “Shake It”
B1. Santonio Echols: “The Majestic”
B2. Santonio Echols: “The Burner” (Nathan Surreal Reshape mix)