Monday 28 January 1974

Resident Advisor review of 'The Difference It Makes'

From Resident Advisor 28th January 2004

The MFA is a live dance duo from London and Wales. Not much is known as to what “MFA” stands for or even about the twosome who is comprised of one Ali and Rhys. The pair first meet at school in 2000 and then again in 2001. A quote on their website: “2001 Ali and Rhys meet again. Ali proclaims his love of dance music, while Rhys prefers the Super Furry Animals.” Strange, but humorous material if you asked me.

It wasn’t until 2002 when the par started to write music. With a few tracks under their belt, John Digweed picked up one of them and played it on his KISS 100FM nights. Later BorderMan himself, James Holden got a hold of the par and has now released their newest piece of music: “The Difference It Makes.” Like the previous releases from BC, you see an original cut, but this time there is no beaty tool. Instead we welcome an alternate mix by Petter (whose name has been everywhere at the moment) and an experimental Fix from The MFA themselves.

The Original is a lo-fi dubby sound meant for the home. Beautiful slices of dubby-tech house with compressed guitars and abstract sliced vocals are the main course. From start to finish, the track is minimal in nature. You can hear the influence that Boards of Canada have on the two. The music moves so gently and softly, you get lost inside of it. Before you know it, the track finishes and somehow seven-minutes have passed. It’s a bit hard to describe, but the song is almost invisible. You know something is there, but somehow you never notice it. I like this track, and I think you will too.

The Fungle Fix is filled with random FX’s and rolling electro bass. Experimental electronica, it seems that no one is doing it these days. Oodles of eerie sweeping FX’s and few sliced-up vocals creep in for the breakdown. In the midst of rolling heavy beats following it with acid trips to end the music. A 180 degree from the original. Not wanting to stay in one element, you can hear the diverse range and talents the duo has.

With the Swedish producer Peter Nordkvist on helm, you knew there would be no worries involved. Petter’s Different Version is a furious acid-tech mix. While the original and fungle fix were experimental mixes, Petter devises a lighting bolt to hit the floor. The track is spacey and wicked. Heavy acid rains, rising melodies and smooth beats releases out from the Different Version. Something exceptionally fun for the DJ to play that fits very well in a progressive set, techno, or breaks set. A sick remix that not only massive, but scarily good.

James Holden’s dreams have come to fruition; emerging as one of the most creative and forward-thinking labels to come about since the early days of Hardkiss and Guerrilla. This latest outing is a balance of quality and class. The MFA has created something of a hidden gem if I must say. Most people may not understand it and most will probably not play it in a club. Nevertheless, if you own a copy, you’ll come back to it. With no fear of the unknown, I wish Border Community the best in its young and vivid outlook.

Originally published here

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