MGUN - Axiom [Don't Be Afraid]
LP, June 01 2018
MGUN, or Manuel Gonzales to his friends, has long been a fixture artist for DBA. Since making his UK debut on the label in 2012, having already featured on Detroit’s celebrated Wild Oats imprint, he has smoothly yet slowly progressed through the presses of fellow dance music tastemakers Third Ear Recordings and Kiev’s Wicked Bass. Following 2016’s warmly received ‘Gentium’, ‘Axiom’ finds Manuel Gonzales back on DBA with an index of offbeat jams that couldn’t have emerged from the mind or studio of any other producer.
Once more envisioned and engineered in his native city of Detroit, the record finds MGUN in more auspicious and domestic circumstances. Now firmly a father and a homeowner, ‘Axiom’ allows Gonzales to flex his party muscle, while further pushing the elastic boundaries of his notoriously unpredictable and brilliantly raw production style. Across twelve tracks, listeners are offered an unpredictable trip into the restlessly experimental snatches of studio time Gonzales was afforded away from his then day job at the legendary People’s Records store. It’s there that Gonzales absorbed endless releases and rediscoveries passing through the stock, trading the occasional tip with some of Detroit’s best known producers.
Beginning with the off-kilter funk of ‘You Inside Me’, ‘Axiom’ expertly toes the line between full-bodied, soulful club weapons (‘You’re Never Home’, ‘Nichrome’), and the sort of lo-fi tinged jams that enable Gonzales’s unusual weirder hooks and rhythms to extend into something altogether more hypnotic and psychedelic (‘Kartwheel’, ‘Sil’.)
There are new sounds and approaches throughout. Centrepiece track ‘See It For Myself’ finds Gonzales on vocal duties for the first time, and the dystopian tinted ‘Vap’ finds his sound expanding into weightless, dreamlike electro. And while certain tracks date back years, having slowly matured to full funk, others, such as the gloriously unhinged ‘359’ were rapidly produced to capture the inspiring energy of a late-night Glaswegian rave.
Simply put, ‘Axiom’ does the work of representing MGUN at his musical best; an analogue celebration of pure party potential.
A1. You Inside Me
A2. K Art W Heel
B2. See It For Myself
B3. She Finna Blow
C3. Your Never Home