Boomkat Product Review:
Cult Detroit DJ/producer Howard Thomas aka H-Fusion supplies a crackshot debut album of psycho-jit-jazz and rugged raw house on The Death of Rave following his secret weapon 12”s and trax for Sound Signature, Transmat and Fit between 2005-2012. Spanning a hands-on, tracky style ranging from 170bpm Jit missiles to ruff but romantic house and beatless audities, it’s arguably one of the most distinctive, dare-to-be-different albums from the 313 in recent memory - a must for rude DJs and Detroit disciples!
The 11 tracks of ‘Captured Entities’ expand on the ruffneck, asymmetric slant of his killer productions for Sound Signature and Fit - as played by everyone from Kyle Hall to Kassem Mosse - across 11 unruly numbers united by an intuitive, jazz-wise approach to his synths and MPC2000. While his sound may remind of many Detroit greats such as Omar-S, Damon Peterson/8088, and Urban Tribe/DJ Stingray, Howard can’t help but sound like himself, and his debut album is defined by its classically driven yet singular Detroit soul clinamen.
Where too many producers’ lip-service to jazz is betrayed by their gridlocked uniformity, Howard cuts the f*ck loose in real-time, improvised jams which have made it to the final tracklist because of their unquantised cantankerousness and frictional quality. Sawn-off blasts of hardcore warehouse rave give way to sultry, dream-away house jackers and a ruck of diesel-fuelled bangers that sound like Nate Young doing Jit with DJ Stingray at a Detroit biker bar. When combined with the curdled gob of beatless, cosmic noise and the cranky swaggering cyberpunk on the LP’s closing side, ‘Captured Entities’ really comes into its own as a unique expression of Michigan grit which, by design or chance, effectively splits the difference between Black Noise and Wolf Eyes.
This kind of instinctively jazz-taught, stylistic and metric versatility is rare in Detroit-manufactured techno albums beyond, say, the debut Omar-S album ‘Just Ask The Lonely’, or the eponymous Urban Tribe LP for KDJ’s Mahogani Music, and the track sequencing of ‘Captured Tracks’ aims to highlight the album’s strength in its diversity. Illuminated by an exceptional mastering job from Anne at Berlin’s D&M which reveals all it’s dusty details and rewards cranked volume in spades, ‘Captured Entities’ is a uniquely rude, thrilling and soulfully compelling album from any angle, and a long overdue LP testament to one of Detroit’s most peculiar, instinctive, and unsung artists. A massive RIYL DJ Stingray/Urban Tribe, Damon Peterson, Omar-S, Nate Young/Aaron Dilloway/Wolf Eyes.