Pusher EP by Mark Henning
Poker Flat capture Mark Henning in a rich vein of form for this EP of deadly deep and intense tech house. For almost a decade, the Anglo-German, Berlin-based DJ has turned out consistent releases on an array of underground labels, but here his trademark combination of darkness, swing and technoid funk reaches new levels.
"Pusher" is a modern masterpiece: tough, crisp and fine-tuned for deployment on Stonehenge-sized speaker stacks, it's a tune that envelops you, the introduction of each individual element staggered for maximum effect. "Somebody let me get my sh*t," the repeated vocal declares: a request the tune responds to magnificently.
The kinetic shuffle of "Swingers" follows a similar trajectory, overwhelming the listener with its relentless energy.
Through the simple yet spooky Hitchcockian device of a single repeated piano note "Triple 13" hypnotises, a trippy snatch of processed vocal providing a hallucinatory edge, while "Satin" explores dreamier territory with a reverberating New Age synth motif.
All four tracks are masterclasses in restraint from a producer who can combine deceptively simple elements to make a resounding and inimitable emotional impact. Aptly named, this 12" is simply the only drug you'll need.