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Magnesii: VD Jam #1 (Voyage Direct Series)

VD Jam #1 is the debut of Magnesii, a previously unknown young Dutch producer. The three tracks on this release for Tom Trago’s Voyage Direct label are smartly dry acid workouts, minimal in arrangement and sequencing, but totally effective. “RZTB Tantra” is the star of the release, starting with a bone dry drum machine loop that only gradually changes, while a percolating acid bassline bubbles to the surface over time. Magnesii slowly turns up the room depth as the bassline grows in body and volume, turning into a more obvious acid riff. It could pass as vintage acid from the late 80s / early 90s, much in the way the music of DMX Krew seems to exist in a time warp that’s unindentifiable.

Magnesii’s tracks here are nearly perfect in this sense, sounding hard to pinpoint in terms of origin, using some reliable and conventional hardware to create tracks that are greater than the sum of their rather spare parts. “Lava Jam” is just as infectious as the A1, again revolving around a repetitive, circular acid hook and a steady, reduced drum track. Add some airy attack pads and it’s a proper nod to vintage acid and Detroit techno all at once. “Van Dyke Island Jam” is the strangest number of the three, full of ratatat snares and a wayward detuned random synth pattern overhead. But its main acid underpinnings and pads tie it together with the other two cuts on the album, giving itself breathing room in and around its more dense moments via a restrained arrangement. Magnesii’s tracks here are unassuming but strangely compelling in their minimalism and understanding of what makes acid so fundamental in the legacy and history of dance music.

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