- Artist: Heartthrob
- Title: Signs
- Label: Minus
- Catalog: M62
- Release date: May 28th 2008
Jesse Siminski is one of those musicians it’s impossible to ignore. Whether producing as Heartthrob or alter ego Vivianne Projects his work is instinctive, insightful and driven by an irresistible force that instantly rubs off on the audience. It’s no surprise then that the first single to be lifted from Heartthrob’s eagerly awaited debut album Dear Painter, Paint Me is Signs, a track that fully demonstrates the extent of his repertoire. One of the highlights of his not-to-miss live set, it’s also become a corner stone of Richie Hawtin’s DJ sets over the last few months due to the massive crowd response it generates whenever it drops.
Billed as an homage to classic Detroit Techno, there’s a real air of expectancy about the mix friendly introduction. The powerful kick pattern, swirling sci-fi vocal efx and loose hi-hat groove soon make way for the urgent, cavorting main melody that spins off into another dimension before a massive, resonating synthetic bass wipes out everything in its path. One of the main ideas running through the album is the juxtaposition and layering of different rhythms and time signatures and this really comes across on Signs, with disco and Caribbean inflections adding a cut and thrust to the chugging groove, creating the perfect foil to the sonic mayhem overhead.
The b-side features Apprentice — a tag Heartthrob can safely leave behind with the release of Dear Painter, Paint Me. Of course it’s another guaranteed floor filler with a finely honed acidic riff that immediately taps into the subconscious. His creative approach is perfectly demonstrated here, as he patiently builds outwards from the main theme, constantly adding new elements to a stripped down, funked up groove that slowly takes control and carries the original idea to its natural conclusion. Awesome!
The digital only track Valentine concludes the release in an altogether different fashion as the uneasy, dreamlike overtones that define this glitchy, ambient work slowly expose the dark irony of the title. The sound design is breathtaking but more importantly it exposes a deeper, restless side to a producer who has no fear confronting the full spectrum of emotions through his work, an area that will certainly be explored further on the autobiographical Dear Painter, Paint Me. Watch this space.