D-Knox – Timeless Minds EP – 12″ (SM035)
Now living in Warsaw, Donnell Knox was well known, along with Black Nation’s Jay Denham for forging a tough, distinct Kalamazoo techno sound in the 90s. His label, Sonic Mind, put out some very coveted, underground wax that still sounds unique, extra rugged, and fresh. Well D-Knox is now on a bit of a comeback mission it seems, with some really inspiring new material, and ‘Africa Calling’. The first version, created to Donnell’s much loved ‘Spirit Man’ alias, is a soulful trek through layers of pads and emotive synth work. The simple, but uplifting, vocal snippet really gives it an organic and spiritual feel, the tempo is driving and quick, but the overall vibe is laid back and deep.
Remixes come from the likes of Brooklyn based Titonton Duvante, who maximizes a synth pattern to a form a beautiful, reaching, version, while Canada’a Rennie Foster channels his Futago Traxx style to present a full on tribal, drum based mix with added vocal pieces. Also, Detroit transplant, now living in Canada as well, J Garrett goes in with a very emotional, warm, string laden take. The EP is capped off with another version from Donnell that could stand as it’s own track really, a totally different, but equally as strong, version featuring a driving baseline and Detroit style string vamps.
A really nice release, worthy of your support, from a well loved veteran of the techno underground.