"Tres Demented"
Record label: Planet E Communications
Format: 12"
Release date: 20 June 2003

Carl Craig hasn't made anything this dope in a long time. Don't get me wrong - the man's brilliant. It's just that his recent work has been great in a different way and for different reasons. His Innerzone Orchestra project was heady stuff where techno and house collided with free jazz and noise. The Detroit Experiment was more funky with a hip-hop and soul feel. But this...this is straight up PRIMAL. Carl went back to that bangin' ass style he used to rock while recording as 69 and Paperclip People. "demented (or just crazy)" is the joint you're going to be hearing most often from this 12-inch. The vocals sound like Animal from The Muppet Show (if he were high) trying to pump up a crowd. Loud chants, shrieks, and grunts echo off the walls as drums build in intensity. Upon its climax, the beat pulls bodies onto the dance floor, the kick drum landing blows to the dome every time. If a DJ drops this at just the right moment, the crowd is guaranteed to completely lose it. Respect to Mr. Laurent Garnier for some specially placed edits. (Carl Craig and Laurent Garnier: if only they'd make an album together...)

The other three versions are more subdued, acting as good transition pieces within a DJ set. "demented drums2" (clocking in at under two minutes) is a bonus beats cut. And unlike our noisy friend on the A-side, "demented drums version" is held in check by a heavy wall of romantic synths. Still has that tribal feel, though; some acidic stabs and hyperactive bleeps break the surface so things don't get too predictable. But we all know which mix is the favorite. Emotional and totally demanding, "Tres Demented" is easily the best tension breaker to be released on wax this year. With as hectic as our world is, this single couldn't have come out at a better time.

{chloe knuckles}

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