Artist: Michael Burns
Title: North EP
Label: Little Mountain Recordings
By: Chloe Harris | 14 May 2004
  • A: The Ambience
  • B: Backwards
  • C: Sunshine In My Shadows
  • D: Forwards

Michael Burns "North EP"

Out Now on Little Mountain Recordings

Michael Burns may be better known as Blue Haze or Panoptic, but he steps out under his own name for a brilliant EP on Sander Kleinenberg’s Little Mountain Recordings. The North EP is a collection of four great tunes that all share a common idea. Mick has always been great at melodies, groovy basslines, and lush atmospheres and once again he shines.

The North EP starts out with a lush groovy tune called 'The Ambience'. Housey drums build with trippy spacey sounds, while light percussive stabs drop in. A groovy bassline starts in after a quick break, while a twisting melodic synth is introduced. Lush sweeping synths come in and engulf the tune taking it into a lovely break. Nice melody changes, and new twinkling harmonies come together and build back into the groovy bassline and housey drums.

'Backwards' is a twisted crunchy song, complete with growling electronic sounds, beautiful synths, and a serious stomping bassline. Heavy beats and percussive gated sounds fall into rising and falling synths. Swallowed by effects, an acid line peeks through and pulls everything down into a break. New lush pads build and rise up inside a mental break, changing the feel of the tune, only for a second. Falling back into the drums, the synths succumb to the crunchy beats once more.

A sassy melodic tune called 'Sunshine In My Shadows' is up next. The drums are clangy and scratchy, with some shakers for added funk. The bassline is heavy and dirty and drives along perfectly. Falling into the break, a jazzy middle explodes. Swirling sounds wrap around a climbing bouncy plucked synth lead that changes periodically when the beats and bass kick back in. As the sounds fall out of tune, the shuffling drums and funk swing to the end.

'Forwards' is the biggest of the four lovely songs. Sasha, Hernan Cattaneo and Sander Kleinenberg have charted it for months. The clickity drums start in, while a distorted bassline teases the bouncy highs. The song stops for a moment and then swings into high gear with chords building and building, and lush sounds hiding inside the layers. Coming down only for a moment, the chords keep quiet and the bassline steps up to funk it up. Everything drops off and the break is filled with flying leads, sparkling sounds, lush synths and a trancy hook. When it pounds back in every sound rides along perfectly and 'Forwards' grooves till the end. This is absolutely one of the strongest tunes he's ever written.

The North EP is sheer brilliance. You can't beat tunes with melody, harmony, funk and dirty basslines. There's so much to choose from and every song stands on its own, yet the EP shares a theme. Little Mountain scooped up a great artist and a great EP, and we can only hope for more.

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