SDS MAX – Why Won’t You (Be With Me) [Erbium Records]

Releasing some of the UK underground’s deepest, rawest and most experimental cuts and now entering its second year of operation, Erbium Records announce the follow-up compilation in their Reactions VA series. This time, it’s a 12-track double vinyl comp featuring underground heavyweights such as Mani Festo, Pluralist and Zobol, to name a few. The London-via-Birmingham label focuses on creativity – both in their musical output and the artwork that accompanies it. This release is no different – featuring artwork just as beautifully abstract as the tracks it houses. We especially enjoy the chemistry theme they’ve got going on with their sleeve design, it ties in nicely with the ‘Reactions’ compilation name and fits perfectly with the tracks themselves. Each track brings something unique to the compilation; whether it’s the deep dubby sonic soundscapes of HALT or Kim[bal], the rhythm-driven tracks from Pluralist, Harry Oscillate and Mystique or the breaky dancefloor rave tunes from Mincy or SDS MAX – together they constitute a compilation that is both varied and coherent.

For our premiere we decided to showcase one of the tracks from the London-based producer SDS MAX, who has been serving up his own style of break-laden heaters over the years on fine labels such as Lobster Theremin, Chequered Wax and of course, Erbium itself. Following the release of his solo EP in September 2020, SDS MAX returns to Erbium with his dancefloor-destroying track ‘Why Won’t You (Be With Me)’, the perfect low-end thumper to get us gassed for when sweaty 5am raves are possible again. The punchy kick cuts through the sustained Reese-like bass to provide a solid foundation upon which the ravey piano chord stabs and vocal delays reign free. The track’s simplicity gives it its beauty, getting straight to the point without any confusion – making you dance.


Michael D.