Long-awaited comeback of Heath Brunner and his label Vmax must be taken seriously, now affirmed by the new EP under the artist’s Silicon alias. Brunner’s production ideas have matured well over the years and without hesitation, the label’s long absence has had only good side-effects for new music.
After H&S’s EP earlier this year, Silicon’s “V981” is a superior session on the Michigan-born label, which is nowadays run out of North Carolina. The electro-dominated EP opens with sweetly old-fashioned “V9811 – Winding Circuits”. Its churning, lazyish textures with vitriolic additives may have born in the early 1970s, if Brunner would have been able to hang around with Ralf Hütter and pals in conceiving sounds about highways and computers. Similarly, virtual affiliation with electronic music’s great influencers comes up in “V9812 – Rx17”, a human beatbox extravaganza in boing-boom-tschak style and with crunchy drive of Detroit electro. Tough bass vibes take us to sombre nebulae in another electro cut “Lost To The Void”, while soft-hued “Trade Craft” stands for the EP’s melancholic side with nightly Motor City chords and 303-driven tranquil bass line.
I’m closely following Vmax not only because of trying to compensate sizable gaps in my collection of the label’s nineties releases, but the label is just doing excellent work. Brunner should be mentioned in the same breath with Gerald Donald or DJ Stingray, when we speak about preserving Detroit’s true spirit.