Two decades after the first Planetary Funk record, Luke Slater has brought the series back to life on his label Mote-Evolver. Alongside some of his finest Planetary Assault Systems work, the series features edits and remixes from a host of excellent producers.
Part one of ‘Planetary Funk 22 Light Years’ is a three-piece EP, with an original P.A.S track and two remixes, from Ø [Phase] and Ben Sims respectively. On the A side, Ø [Phase] offers up a rework of P.A.S – ‘Dungeon’ from 1997. It’s a rather different beast than the original, lending itself more to the dance floor; groovy shakers and hats give things more of a techy feel. The creeping bells of the original are still present, but sit further back in the mix and act almost as more of a percussive element, while the buzzing synths and wildly pitch shifted rides ensure it’s certain to be a peak time favourite.
B1 gives us the Ben Sims remix of the classic P.A.S – Gated. Much slower than the original, Sims uses tough, heavy drums to create that raw warehouse vibe for which he’s known. He cuts the pads and melody present in the original, instead looping the synth line throughout and using thunderous percussion to carry the track forward.
Not much can be said about B2 that hasn’t been said already. ‘Dungeon’ is a timeless P.A.S record that still sounds modern today. Heady, hypnotic and haunting, the ominous bells and sparse, faded percussion create an eerie sense of emptiness, while rising drones and creaking stabs give the track the undeniable feeling of a horror film score.
KAT, from Planetary Assault Systems, is the feature track on the second EP in the series, alongside a re-interpretation from Josh Wink. The remix kicks things off on the A side, and Wink quickly cements the groove with a chunky bassline and Latin flavoured drums. As the piece progresses and he layers up the percussion, a vocal shot of the track title is crushed, mangled and stretched until its nearly unrecognisable, while quick breaks and percussive alterations keep everything dynamic and interesting.
On the flip side is the original track from P.A.S. A relatively reserved piece, washed out dubby stabs are paired with shuffling hats creating a loose groove akin to that of a Basic Channel number. The energy builds with reverberating cymbals and a distant vocal pad, while shifting percussive lines overlap and twist amongst each other, creating a disjointed feel while simultaneously maintaining the focus and drive.
Mote-Evolver are off to a roaring start with these first two releases, they’ve managed to look back to the past but keep one foot firmly in the present. If what we’ve been shown so far is anything to go by, the rest of the series will definitely be something to keep an eye on.