After ten years Cantu’s sound has barely aged a day. The sweat and grime of Jak, the gnawing frustrations of house, the warming hopes and loss of techno; all present, swirled and compressed on Hypnopompic.
I’ve been following D’Marc Cantu’s music since his first fury filled steps. Hissing house was the Ann Arbor artist’s forte, a growling and snarling take on Chicago’s already gritty style. Nowadays, some ten years on from those first releases, some of the early aggression, that youthful iconoclasm, has begun to melt, to thaw, into quite a different sound.
Hypnopompic is Cantu’s first 12” of 2017, arriving care of Prague’s Endless Illusion which has set itself up nicely as an imprint that deserves attention. A lean into techno, into smoother sound is plain to hear in the lilting bars of “Get Lifted.” Chord stumble into sheathed percussion as a cold and stark track staggers. “Fenset” is of a broader church. Melodies rumble, rhythms spiking into those dreamy notes as an absorbing and textured piece forms from haze and mist. If you’re thinking the Crème and Nation alumni is getting soft think again, there’s more than enough wallop on this EP. The A-Side is acid and distortion drenched. Keys curl and split in the intense hail of “Can’t Signal.” That intensity is reduced for the bitter and concentrated “Light Speed Funk,” a work of condensed 303 squawk and trudging drums.
After ten years Cantu’s sound has barely aged a day. The sweat and grime of Jak, the gnawing frustrations of house, the warming hopes and loss of techno; all present, swirled and compressed on Hypnopompic. There’s a reason Cantu’s style, his music, hasn’t aged, he hasn’t let it.
Hypnopompic is available on Endless Illusion.