I first came across Slam Mode — a project composed of Michael Cole, Angel Rodriguez and Lyle Milton — in Ireland in the early ’90s from the material they put out on their own Right Area Records label. What attracted me to their music was how it fused the more abstract aspects of Chicago house and Detroit techno with an east coast, garage feel. I love all the regional flavors of American dance music and it was refreshing to hear a fusion of this type executed with such finesse. Slam Mode’s material even brought in elements of ambient music, creating material not a million miles away from their UK-based, Italian peers Vibraphone Records (whose recently remastered and reissued Bermuda Triangle EP is spinning on one of my turntables as I write this sentence).
The trio went on to release material on prolific labels like Kevin McKay’s Glasgow Underground, Joe Claussell’s Spiritual Life Music and Jerome Sydenham’s Ibadan. Their back catalogue is well worth a dig if you like your house music on the atmospheric, melodic and, sometimes, abstract side.
Fiat Mistura EP
Spiritual Life Music/US/12
We thought they had disappeared off the face of the earth, but in the last month and a half former Right Area abstract garage dudes Slam Mode have returned with some ground breaking music. This EP for Spiritual Life is no exception. The main track, ‘Europa” is a fusion of ethereal keyboards and samples and a driving and uplifting piano line. On the flipside things get a little more abstract with “Ganyamede Ultra” and “Abyssus,” charting tricky territory between ambient, house and techno. Groundbreaking house, seek it out. Chris Orr