It’ll be clear from the release art on Mob Tactics’ new EP Eject, out today on RAM, that they’re keen for a little D&B nostalgia this time around. That closeup of the buttons on an old tape or CD player may conjure up images for some of the Maxell tape commercial where the sound is blowing the guy’s face off, but the duo have also injected some real old school rave magic into their first release of 2020. That said, there’s nothing throwback about Eject.
There are dancefloor bangers and then there are dancefloor bangers that are so fast and strong that the floor really should be reinforced for safety reasons. Mob Tactics are already known for the latter kind of bangers so while it’s no surprise that all four tracks on Eject are absolute howlers, there is also quite a bit more going on, as is also often the case with these two. In this case, it’s all about speed and setting the tone.
On Tuesday, Rene LaVice debuted the opening track “Thumper” so fans could get a taste of what was in store for the EP’s drop. Despite how hard and fast this track is, it has a surprisingly minimal beat and it also seems to be a techno beat as well, or at the very least a very snares-y jump up beat. Technically it’s neither but it rather toggles between a slightly slowed-down old school gabber beat and a super-fast D&B beat. You can just barely suss out the kick-drum structure in parts of the track, but that structure is created by a bass synth rather than by more conventional means. Confused yet? Just wait.
“Clipped” is a bit more obviously jumpy in its beat but one would hesitate to call it jump up, as the synths are ultra-neuro tinged and the melodies made by those neuro synths plus the higher-pitched over-synth are quite old school ravey. They even throw in some glitchy scramblers between phrases and at the main break so ultimately the track does have a bit of a jump up feel. That is, if you know what jump up was like in the early 00s. Once again, however, “Clipped” is blisteringly fast and engineered for the modern ear and the modern stepper.
In the album’s title track, listeners will see more literally where Mob Tactics really got the title for the EP: the vocal sample throughout this dancefloor chomper says “play, rewind, eject, repeat.” It’s set up again, however, in an old school rave fashion where the vocal sample loops in time with beat and pitches up and down to move with the breaks and the progression of the song. It’s got a very acid house-meets-late-90s-jump up vibe but this song is a screamer in any era.
Finally Eject closes with “Bulldozer” and it certainly does roll over the audience in a similar way to its namesake. The boys jammed about as many snares into the beat as they could without making said beat all snares and thus, on an EP full of tracks that move dangerously fast, “Bulldozer” seems like the fastest. The beat itself is a roller with a decent dose of amens at the phrase transitions, yet it’s still unbelievably quick and tight. There’s a hint of old school rave melody here as well but in terms of inspiration, “Bulldozer” seems to be the most inspired by nothing but Mob Tactics’ own mad minds.
With so much going on in each track on Eject, sound nerds could probably pick them apart for a long time and not fully get it all done. That’s clearly not the point of a collection like this, however, as these tracks are meant to wake up the dancefloor and get feet stepping even more than they were before. With nods to the old school rave and the power of dance itself, Eject reminds anyone who needs it what dance music is supposed to be for. Just make sure that dancefloor can take all the bouncing.
Eject is out today, January 17 on RAM Records. Click here to stream of purchase on multiple platforms