Tilt – Resonator
Label: Pro B Tech RecordsScore: 8.5/10It is a music lover of a certain era that will remember Tilt with great fondness. One of the UK’s most influential nightclubs, Eclipse, spawned residents Parks & Wilson, who (legend has it) was inspired by regular guest DJ Sasha to start producing their own music. They formed Tilt with John Graham and had phenomenal success with labels such as Perfecto and Hooj Choons culminating in a UK Top 20 hit with Invisible, and one of the most listened to Essential Mixes of all time. It is then, with some suspicion I approach the first listen of Tilt’s new album Resonator. The current line up of Mick Park & Nic Britton have returned to a brave new world of electronic music from an era of music dominated by a progressive house sound that defined an important point in time, but has since splintered into many different genres, scenes and sounds. Tilt always had a signature sound and it’s clear from first listen that not only has this been retained but it’s been built upon, using their experience and heritage to springboard them, front and point, back onto the music scene. Analogue Slide makes it clear it no uncertain terms that Tilt are back and are not to be messed with. This is solid house music for clubs that translates; big front-of-mix bassline, layers of analogue, vocals, pads and melodic synth stabs, crisp, clear production and a confident swagger. This is a Tilt that sounds different and feels different, certainly not dated, definitely fresh and relevant as if Tilt have soaked up elements from different genres and incorporated them into their signature sound (drums from tribal, rawness from Chicago etc.)
Here It Is Now featuring vocal legend Sam Mollison confirms that the Tilt magic is still there in bass-bin loads. This is heavyweight business, deep and delicious, ethereal and hard-hitting and yet it’s a song with an ever moving arrangement and defined with Sam Mollison’s soulful lyric. The relationship between lyricist and musician is important as Tilt and Sam play off each other blow-by-blow encouraging each other to step up the pace. And so it continues; KISS Magnetic a restrained bounder of deep, big bassline business, Resonator a lesson in top-line melody and 30 Hits of Acid a 303 stomper that is all new to Tilt (John Graham of the original line up wouldn’t allow 303 to be used in Tilt’s production) which still manages to retain the pads and ambient sounds that define the Tilt sound. At half way through I feel like I’ve been run up a mountain and back, highs & lows and enormous sounds, vocals and songs and I’m wondering where the filler is on an album defined by club music that has been translated to different environments. Falling Again featuring Dominique Atkins is another vocal to instrumental cat and mouse, a call and answer of melody and lyric that is so smooth and beautiful in its being, a masterclass in production that takes decades of experience to achieve. KU burns on a long-fuse with spiralling vocals a gentle melodic workout underpinned by a growling bassline that has been one of the album’s most immediate tracks. Sam Mollison steps up once again on The Hurt to deliver his unmistakable vocal set to a filmic landscape of pads, strings and melody, chunky bass and sympathetic synth melody. Again the production is immense, the vocal stunning and the impact of the two combined almost overwhelming at times. The analogue workout Northern Heavy with its in your face arpeggios and big-room synth hits is (and I don’t use this term lightly) anthemic. Take twenty odd years of house music history from the Eclipse and probably many other Northern clubs and bundle it up into this rolling, rollicking, layered sound of a thousand sweaty punters working on the dancefloor and you have captured the emotion of this track. As if to drive home the message or perhaps as a fingers up to the disbelievers, Make You High takes things down-tempo with Natasha Cadman’s gorgeous lyric and a symphony of strings that ebbs and swells like a tide against a summer sunset. Even on first listen you can sense the emotion and blood, sweat and tears that Tilt have poured into Resonator. For this reason alone the album is worth buying but believe me when I say Resonator is one of the most important albums of the year for electronic music, because it has successfully brought to bear a change on the future of house music, to some extent, by revisiting the past. With the current revival of house music in full-swing Tilt have taken, possibly the most maligned genre of house music, and slapped the naysayers in the face with it. If listen after listen is proof you can be assured that this is a killer album, and it deserves to be taken seriously because, quite simply, it is exceptional.