7.5Overall Score

Max D’s Future Times has been on particularly fine form of late, following the label-head’s boggling debut album ‘Boost’ with a sublime single-sided jam from newcomer Will DiMaggio. If you dial back thirty-odd releases and seven years, you’ll come across their first volley of releases, the ones that marked out the borderless, funk-fuelled club grooves that would make Future Times a hit later down the line.

One of those records is by Rhythm Based Lovers, aka man of many aliases Jason Letkiewicz. Around 2008 Letkiewicz was also issuing definitive early records on L.I.E.S. and across the leftfield house scene as Malvoeaux, Confused House and Steve Summers. You could barely move for hearing another great Steve Summers track. Then in 2014 the torrent slowed to a trickle. Letkiewicz started to fade away.

He returned surreptitiously to the scene early this year with an ultra-limited LP under the Death Commando moniker, but it’s only now that Max D has coaxed out a wider release, a return to his sweatiest alias after seven years of retirement. The two tracks here prove that he lost none of his natural flair, showcasing two sides of the Rhythm Based Lovers personality in one indelibly funky package.

Both cuts meet somewhere between crushed machine grooves and cosmic boogie, but are best suited to different contexts. Frequency Illusion is the club cut, brimming with warm, generous synth riffs and lilting xylophone flourishes. It’s not whimsical though – the lights are low, the drums busy, and there’s a mucky edge to that killer bassline.

Number Games is the dreamer, emerging fully formed as a mechanical slow dance, soundtrack to an X-rated prom (instead of A and B, the two are split into ‘romance’ and ‘dance’ sides). The groove’s all about hypnosis, massaged by gentle neon keys and a patient wriggle in the bassline. Both tracks glide along moodily, casually commanding the dance. It’s as if Letkiewicz never left.