John Clark knows his stuff. Already creating a buzz with his three EP releases over on the 2020 vision label, he, under his moniker Debukas produces music that shows a deep understanding of the history of both techno and house music. His tunes might not fit neatly into those genres, but have elements of both, and he mixes it up with a whole bunch of other musical ideas, from garage to acid, early warp to transmit, 808 state to Arthur Russell.
What he’s produced is an album that has a thread running through it, or more specifically a sound, this warm dancefloor friendly record, with its Detroit strings, and handclaps and blurry and obscured vocals. But what makes this album sparkle, and it does sparkle pretty much from beginning to end, is that Debukas is able to create killer hook after killer hook, which means that while the album doesn’t really have that absolute dancefloor classic, it is a record of almost remarkable quality.
Right from the opening title track, with its house sensibilities and infectious chorus, through the 808 state style bassline of Hold Back the Sea, which catches you off guard with its hypnotic vocals and crackling, sparkling synth lines its impossible not to admire what the Scottish producer had achieved.
Elsewhere the jittery, fragmented electronica of Love Plant and the sweeping synth lines in closing track Tape Symphony give enough variation to the album, so things don’t become a little samey.
There are so many highlights as well. The analogue synth sounds (and just that little nod towards acid house) that purvey through How did you find me? And Some Days are delicious, and the Soul II Soul like Rings is a joy. but it’s probably the Detroit influenced House of Shake, and the murky electronic soul of Minus 24 that are the real highlights on I am Machinery.
It might be machinery, but Debukas has produced one of the most affecting, human records of the year. Dance along.