Release Date: Feb 19, 2013
Record label: No. 19 Music
Genre(s): Electronic, House, Techno, Club/Dance, Neo-Electro, Electro-Techno
As Art Department, Jonny White and Kenny Glasgow earned praise for the deep, dark tech-house they presented on their 2010 single "Without You" and the following year's album Drawing Board. That hypnotic, dead-of-night aesthetic is also on full display on the pair's mix album Social Experiment 003, another installment of the series inspired by the parties thrown by White's label, No. 19.
"What do you think about at night?" the anonymous narrator of John Tejada's electro-house anthem "Sweat (on the Walls)" asked dancefloors eight or so years ago. She already seemed to know the answer: House, with its sensuous rhythmic patterns and lustrous textures, is commonly described as a music of feel, of thoughtless submission, but even in the moment of seduction the dancer can watch him or herself getting lost in the music, observe, and perhaps feels a bit uneasy at their easy sacrifice of a bit of their humanity in the name of communal hedonism. Perhaps this sense of double-awareness is what the music itself thinks about at night: you can hear it in A Tale of Us' remix of Fuckpony's "Bongo Porn", the swirling delirium and compulsive jerking of the original ushered through unexpected minor-key passages of sadness, regret, even existential crisis, as if the groove is forever pivoting on that point where pornography might turn, almost imperceptibly, into a scene from Steve McQueen's Shame.
Johnny White and Kenny Glasgow's time as Art Department may only be a comparatively short slice of their respective music careers, but it's taken the Canadian producers to a new level of recognition. Maintaining momentum from the string of singles and albums that began in 2010, they take on the next edition of No.19 Music's Social Experiment mix series—their first compilation—with gusto, ending its hiatus since 2011's Soul Clap-helmed debut.At first glance, the tracklisting doesn't hold too many surprises. There are a clutch of exclusives adding a fresh feel, with White and Nitin's "La Cueva" opening things brightly.
Curated by Kenny Glasgow and No. 19 Music’s founder Jonny White, known collectively as Art Department, Social Experiment 003 is an after-hours adventure into the perverse seduction of tech-house. The Canadian duo meticulously fuse together sounds over the 14-track compilation; slow-mixing choice cuts like Ali Love’s “The Jungle” (Brigante’s Mix) into the effervescent bottom-end and signature Robert Owen vocal vibratos on Luca C.