Two principles seem to guide Andrew Field-Pickering and all his endeavours – experiment and fun. His solo releases as Max D play with familiar genre tropes, while his Future Times label and collaborative efforts like Beautiful Swimmers take leftfield jabs at the dancefloor with a smirk and a wink. Sometimes the innovation ventures into decidedly far-out territory, such as his jazzy new album Boost or the Lifted collaboration, but Field-Pickering’s productions remain resolutely breezy and soulful, whatever the genre.
Yet even by these generous standards, Field-Pickering’s new collaboration with Dublin’s Morgan Buckley is a hot blast of pleasure. Buckley is known best for his oddball electronic output on Rush Hour’s No ‘label’, and joins Max D to form Lemme Kno. The duo’s first outing perfectly suits the aesthetic of Unthank, the sublabel where the tasteful Firecracker crew let down their hair.
The three tracks here explore technicolour terrain in the company of hip hop, rave and techno, careening between styles and sounds with gleeful abandon. The Tie With The Most Stripes opens with a buoyant hip hop swagger, soon joined by a junglist bassline and a menagerie of bright melodies. It’s dense with detail but still airy, the hallmark richness of Max D’s production making each sound stand out from the crowd. It’s followed sharply by Way (188 Krew Mix), a stomping breakbeat sketch exploding with blunted energy and retro vocal snips, assembled like a pleasingly rough hip hop collage.
It’s perhaps not a surprise that the final track goes for a very different approach. 1234567 replaces the cut and paste approach with smooth Detroit synths and a rollicking breakbeat, its dubby piano keys evoking the hopeful spirit of rave without resorting to pastiche. It’s the highlight of a blistering package, the two producers irreverently splicing together old genres to find new sounds, and clearly having a ball while they’re at it.