Review: Rx and Shiftee, 'Space Ace'


Rx & Shiftee

Space Ace

Rad Summer

4 stars

Action Jackson and Flufftronix's Rad Summer label has maintained a steady release schedule since launching earlier this year. More importantly, the quality of music has improved substantially with each new work issued. The label's latest, Rx and Shiftee's Space Ace EP, is by far the most interesting title in the Rad Summer catalog.

Space Ace is a collaboration between New York-based DJs Rx and Shiftee. Shiftee has already become a prominent member of the scene and has won multiple DMC World Champion titles. Labeled as 'downtempo dubstep,' the trio of tracks presented here owe as much to classic Detroit techno as they do dubstep.

The EP's opener "Space" blends ambient washes of synth with the rumbling squelch of dubstep bass to create an effective mood piece that would make Italian prog-rockers Goblin envious, while Rx's "Orbit" percolates slowly, with the skittering synth line riding a 2-step shuffle.

The EP's closer, Shiftee's "Landing Boots," is the real gem here. He presents a beautiful piece that could pass for a lost classic from avant-synth poppers Art of Noise, while also recalling the ethereal, postmodern R&B sound of James Blake. Ending with an austere, Satie-esque piano figure, "Landing Boots" is a truly original work that doesn't succumb to the typical cliches found in most electronic dance music.

It's great to see Rad Summer branching out beyond trend-oriented club sounds. If the label continues to release work of this quality, it won't be long before Rad Summer starts attracting serious attention in the EDM scene.

PREVIEW: Rx & Shiftee - Space Ace (out October 17th on Rad Summer) by Rad Summer


Kyle Long pens A Cultural Manifesto for NUVO Newsweekly and in 2014 began broadcasting a version of his column on WFYI.

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