Rachael – Okada – Hotline003

I wondered what had happened to Rachael. We met once at a club in Bristol (I think) some time last year. Her debut release on Idle Hands, which dropped last October, was a fine piece of wax, delightfully trippy cuts that explored the more eccentric realms of House and Techno. A year later and she is back, this time on Hotline recordings. After a string of voicemail messages the video for the next single appeared with the bare minimum of fuss on their website last night. The lead track, 'Okada', is a brilliantly raw drum machine jam, full of tape hiss and distorted snares. A simple but effective arpegiated synth line leads the ears into cavernous bass rolls for the intro before plunging you into a ferric maze of redacted drum work. Halfway through a classic Griume (IS THIS OK? GRIME?) referencing string melody enters along with mindbending switches in the drum patterns. Crafty edits keep things interesting for the DJs while in the mix as Okada maintains a steady 130 bpm throughout.  On the flip side, the ever unpredictable Dj Sotofett re-licks the original in a 94 style. The classic Sesame Street break is loaded into the Akai and chopped to perfection, creating a very Bristolian shuffle for the staccato bass to work with. Sotofett bathes the original in opulent pads and peppers the track with gunshots, dub sirens and rewinds - choice cultural reference points that combine to make this record a hell of a lot of fun (remember that?). Top notch dancing gear for the ladies and the boys.  If Rachael had told me it was a lost cut from the Moving Shadow vaults I would probably have believed her… Motoring along somewhere around the 150bpm mark, it is compatible with some of the recent and arguably most interesting releases of the year - Special Request, Kode 9 and Om Unit to name a few, not forgetting a slew of Footwork releases.  Hotline comes correct once again, referencing the inherent rudeness of the UK underground and its many influences at the same time as pushing these sounds in a new and exciting direction.  Available next week, each copy comes with a risograph printed insert designed by Mr Sotofett himself.