mR. Mahaj & The Birdhunter - Ownlight / This Freak (Handmade Recordings)

Handmade Records unveils the debut release of mR. Mahaj & The Birdhunter, a quizzically named group from the Barbary Coast, San Francisco - but not really because that’s a seedy red-light district of days gone by. Yet such a setting is fitting in context to the storyline their music evokes on this single’s two songs, “Ownlight” and “This Freak”.

The first track, “Ownlight,” lurks about with a reverberating kick, funky guitar licks, tough technoid rhythms, and spooked out vocals. Jay Tripwire’s (Poker Flat) remix darkens things up a bit while stripping itself down into a late night experience, taking the form of the deep and spacial grooves he’s known for. Upping the funk for the second track, “This Freak” features more playful guitar lifted by ‘80s inflected synths, groovy bongos, and similarly eerie vocals, this time run through a vocoder. Los Angeles’ Dance Spirit revamp the original in their Flashback Remix, turning it into the kind of menacing and twisted, but beautifully fringe tech house expected of artists from the Superfreq label camp. Hailing from the opposite coast, New York based Braulio Motus is a label familiar. He rounds off the “This Freak” trilogy in a dirty, psychedelic trip that’s laced with atmosphere as it rides a wave of distorted synths and taxed out vocals. Handmade Recordings goes from strength to strength and this single is sure to please shady characters across the globe as well as those who call a favorite late night haunt ‘home.’

Phonogenic (Moodmusic / Turbo) - “This is properly out there. Jay Tripwire’s remix has a dope dub vibe and I really like Dance Spirit’s remix for early doors. Great!”
Craig Stewart (DCSTrax / Montana & Stewart) - “The Jay Tripwire remix is off the charts. The low end frequencies are massive.”
Q-Burns Abstract Message - “The Dance Spirit mix is the proper deep biz here. I really like the way the vocals and guitar are used and manipulated.”
Saulty (Downtown Party Network) - “Big package … a lot of great tracks!”
Al Bradley (3am Recordings) - “Both originals are cool here, ‘Ownlight’ being a particularly funky slab of ass-shaking-ness (if that’s a term…). But the pick for me here is the Dance Spirit remix; a sensational slo-mo percussive winner for me … wicked! Jay also turns in another brilliant deep jam, too.”
Tyree Cooper - “‘Ownlight’ is really nice.”
Carlo Gambino ( Midnight Social Recordings) - “Great remix by Jay Tripwire … one of his best to date for me. This is gonna sound mega on a big system next weekend!”
RiCHARD.GEAR (Whiskey Pickle / Discobelle) - “That Jay Tripwire remix is proper warehouse deepness … and the Braulio Motus remix of ‘This Freak’ is tight, too.”
Sumsuch (Colour and Pitch) - “Pretty tasty release … I like it a lot.”
Lcaise (Tanztone Records / Diskko) - “Oooh … Jay Tripwire’s version is total bomb for me!”
DJ Nova (Rodon FM, Greece) - “I am impressed with Dance Spirit’s remix of ‘This Freak.’ Dark synths, guitars which sound like Balearic ones, scary space ‘freak’ vocals … I think it is one of the better tracks of the year.”
Michael Fossati (Spirit of House) - “An enticing deep gem perfect for those moody late night sets.”

Available now from Beatport and Juno Download.