This week sees Krystal Klear‘s new label, Cold Tonic, debut: the mighty Tonic001. While the Irish-born Manchester based DJ and producer is usually associated with belting 80’s disco and 90’s house sets that expertly toe the line of being unashamedly fun without descending into pure cheese, this release shows a serious change in direction.
Both tracks are undoubtedly, as Joy Orbison once succinctly titled one of his own tunes, ‘Big Room Tech House DJ Tools’. In a way that draws parallels with his just the right side of cheesy sets, they do what they say on the tin with just enough character to distinguish them from hyped-about one month, forgotten the next, attempts at making club bangers.
The A-side, ‘Squad’, centres around a dark, pulsating synth line and shuffling percussion, before switching up in the latter half to something much more melodic and reminiscent of his older work. The B-side, ‘Tun Valve’ has had DJs going crazy for the past few months. It is a minimal arrangement of stuttering beeps and a cavernous kickdrum, unto which further percussion is added to hold the listener’s attention. You can definitely expect to hear both of these out a lot over the next few months.
– John Hardy