Ever since he exploded onto an unwitting club-going public with 2015’s Mutant City Acid 2 (on Balkan Vinyl), James Clarke — aka James Shinra — has been moving from strength to strength with his no-frills, back-to-basics house visions, as indebted to 1990s underground acid culture of the UK as they are to the rawness of the Detroit sound.
2019 alone has been a bumper year for the guy, with two titles — a redux of his 2017 gem Orbit, along with the stellar Signs 12” — ensuring his star keeps rising. Now, Shinra outdoes himself with a third release to round off a whirlwind year — naturally, it’s exactly what we’d like to hear from him, and then some. Darkroom EP, his first release on troublemaking Glasgow label Craigie Knowes (who’ve also seen a rather busy year), amps up Shinra’s penchant for techno and electro fusions with a healthy dose of Aphex-ish acidic chops and changes (see ‘Gyprgy’ for a breakneck pace example; see ‘Gritti’ for something with a little more swing) and a trajectory for deeper reaches of house’s outer wilds (observe the crashing comet of opener ‘Kord’, as the flames clear with the wide-eyed vista of ‘At The End Of The World’).
With Darkroom EP, James Shinra shows that his stupendous techno inventiveness knows no bounds — not in this universe, anyway.