I have been a huge Octave One fan since “I Believe” in 1990. Hearing subsequent releases on their own 430 West imprint was always a pleasure and, after I moved to San Francisco, receiving white labels, like the one reviewed below, was beyond description. I loved the record and still have the white label, exactly like the one in the header image. The go-to track for me was Burujha, which always reminded me of “Nicolette” from their 1991 EP, Octivation.

I first heard “Nicolette” in the winter of 1991 when my friend Keiran brought it back from Bologna, Italy, where he was living at the time. He also had some other impossibly obscure Detroit 12 inches. American records of this type were hard to find in Ireland in the early ’90s, unless you were lucky to grab one of the few copies that came through stores in Belfast, Cork or Dublin. So receiving a gem like “Art And Soul” in the mail for free was such a sweet feeling and brought on a nostalgia for a time when supplies weren’t so abundant and the records that we had were precious commodities to be cherished and preserved passionately.

Octave One
Art And Soul
430 West/US/12
This three-tracker from the brothers Burden really shows why they are still one of the most important production teams in the techno world today. While it adheres to the minimalist dogma, their sound still manages to inject that oft-missing variable — soul. Listen to “Art and Soul.” which takes up side one, on which they fuse electro to a chunky house groove and come up with a dance floor winner, which is as easy on the ear and ass as it is on the head.

Over on the other side. “Loveless” uses a similar sound, but accentuates the 4/4 signature and brings “Day Star Rising” to mind by utilizing rasping key stabs. ascending strings and weighty bass. The last track on this EP really delivers the Detroit manifesto in spades. “Burujha” comes across like “Nicollette” from 1991’s “Octivation” EP, all airy synths, square wave bass and a lost, introspective feeling drifting through the track. Essential. Chris Orr