Songs We Love: Tom Demac, 'The Shuttle Awaits'

Tom Demac's new EP, The Shuttle Awaits, comes out August 15. (Courtesy of the artist)
Tom Demac's new EP, The Shuttle Awaits, comes out August 15. (Courtesy of the artist)

It's a fool's errand to shorthand the diverse well of techno and house energy at the heart of Tom Demac's "The Shuttle Awaits," the latest in a flurry of singles the North Wales-reared, Manchester-hardened Londoner's been dropping for Aus and Hypercolour the past few years. His music clicks multiple genre boxes without pandering to any of them: hard, and as potentially minimal, as a brick; funky in that druggy, delinquent, energizing way U.K. producers and DJs have been cornering since at least 1988's Summer of Love; and filled with attractive melodies and textures, not to mention vocals, that could incite even the most unsuspecting club novice. Demac (born McDonald) is a princely prospector of experimental dance music's pop wing. If someone ever posits him next to a traditional songwriter, hits may well follow.

"Shuttle" begins as a nighttime ride, syncopating a booming low-end, some deliciously blue horn stabs, and a guitar (bass?) noodle that sounds like it came straight off a New Order demo. It's a hell of a base to build a track on — and build on it is exactly what Demac does. Soon enough, a ghostly, wordless voice is adding a melody line, and eventually something resembling a chorus vocal (courtesy of Gary McLure of Manc nu-gaze band Working For A Nuclear Free City). Then, when it's time to lead the track from breakdown to promised land, the controls are guided by a classic house piano figure, and "Shuttle" approaches peak-time, hands-in-the-air material. Serious music for having fun.

The Shuttle Awaits EP is out on Hypercolour on August 15.

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