Kim Ann Foxman: Return It / Hypnotic Dance (Needwant)
Kim Ann Foxman is probably best known as one of Andy Butler’s primary partners in crime in Hercules & Love Affair, but it’s nice to hear her breaking out on her own and stepping into the spotlight more comfortably. (These two tracks got a release in 2012, but I’m only just getting around to tuning in now!) None of the tracks on this EP are going to be surprising to anyone who has grown accustomed to associating Foxman with nostalgic early 90s house and techno; she’s treading the same waters here with tracks that sound fairly authentic in their usage of vintage gear and sounds. The two originals here are both deceptively infectious, tracks that creep into your memory and demand repeat listening. “Return It” is a great melancholic acid house number, while “Hypnotic Dance” is a more rousing and layered track. Both would work well on a dancefloor in a variety of context.
The light quality of Foxman’s voice, treated with effects, and spare hardware arrangements recall some of the best moments of Ada’s career, but Foxman much more noticeably has her eye on the sounds of dance music’s past whereas Ada strikes me as someone who’s keener to look into the future. I suppose that’s neither really here nor there — these tracks are very good on their own merits. Steffi turns out an even more nostalgic mix of “Return It,” with a midrange quality that makes it feel like it was recorded on a dusty tape, with more deliberate 303 leads and a distinct white noise snare that throws it straight back in time in the best possible way; she delivers the goods in both a vocal remix and a dubbed out instrumental. Populette’s remix of “Return It” has a more patient stride and changes up the whole key of the chorus effectively, giving it a more optimistic brightness that recalls some of the groovier moments of early Rephlex. Fans of straightforward dance music nostalgia will likely enjoy Foxman’s take on history, a nice balance of melancholic disco and movement.