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Ewan Pearson - Sci.Fi.Hi.Fi. Volume 1

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Artist: Ewan Pearson

Album: Sci.Fi.Hi.Fi. Volume 1

Label: Soma

Review date: Mar. 19, 2006

As someone sharper than me once said, with electro-house the devil is in the details. Electro-house emphasises extremities (tantalizing treble and boulder-strength bass), sharpening the tracky elements of house productions. At its best, it makes everything sparkle; a thrilling tickle down the nape of the neck as the track’s immersive properties encases your entire body. The retro characteristics of electro-house (whether they draw from 1980s electro, Italo, disco, whatever) serve as palimpsests re-written in glitter. Every engagement with the sensual realm is intensified.

Ewan Pearson is one of electro-house’s pioneers: his remixes are definitional passes in the history of the genre, and with Sci.Fi.Hi.Fi, he forages the undergrowth of electro-house for its hidden moments. A consistent sense of near-rapture hinges the set: the tracks all constantly brim, about to blow over. Pearson and Usher’s remix of Feist’s “Inside and Out” gushes with little deaths, vectors and mini-cyclones of air and heat twirling inside the mix; later on, Riton’s ‘re-rub’ of Brazilian Girls’ “Don’t Stop” and Tim Paris’ remix of Karu’s “Maraud Your Ears” dot the twilight landscape with thousands of prickly arpeggios.

There are one or two moments when it switches into epic mode (Dirk Techno, Sold Out’s “I Don’t Want to Have Sex With You”, versioned here by Mugwump) and the last stretch of the disc sort-of flips overboard, but without the blissfulness you’re expecting. But what’s most thrilling about Sci.Fi.Hi.Fi is the giddiness of its textures: the extended high of the opening triplet from Clashing Egos, Lontano and Feist, the jacking fits and starts of Karu, the queasiness of Alex Visconti. It’s testament to Pearson’s ability to maintain.

By Jon Dale

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