The Dig by Dan Berkson & James What
Dan Berkson & James What are a newly formed London based production and live performance duo. Both Dan and James have been playing music, producing, and DJing in their own separate projects up to now, but have recently teamed up in an attempt to create their own blend of electronic house music. Dan has been releasing records on many labels including Mood Music, Movim, Exun, and Gourmet Recordings and djing in the US and Europe. James What has German. Scottish and Guatemalian roots and was brought up in in southern France - He moved to London in 1999 to study music and sound engineering and made his first appearances with productions on Treibstoff and Einmalein's Musik. They are now putting together a unique live PA featuring their own tracks mixed and reworked on laptops along with live synths. "The Dig' is their debut relase on Poker Flat, on which they wanted to achieve an organic sounding record, using analogue synthesizers and noises blended with percussive sounds they recorded in the studio with various objects and vocals. Tweaked monosynth lines and rich polyphonic pads are featured on most tracks, and single note patterns of various timbre often reinforce the grooves. The title track on the A-side is as simple as effective and the name relates to some of the percussion parts which reminded them of a rodent digging a hole in the ground. First on the B-side is "If I Was A Man', a slow-down groover with a dark and funky atmosphere, inspired by Barbara Alcindor's abstract spoken words, becomes more and more twisted towards the end of the track. Last but not least, "Zig Zag', which is named after the wobbly monosynth phrase which is being tweaked throughout the tune. All tracks speak of sweet, riding rhythms and nights full of action. Pure quality.