Octave One and their label, 430 West, have been a seminal reference point for Detroit techno since the release of their classic I Believe in 1990, which established them as prime movers in the scene’s second generation. Following last year’s Burn It Down LP, much of which consisted of studio recordings developed for the duo’s live set, Lenny and Lawrence Burden return with four versions of ‘Just Don’t Speak’, which you can expect to hear a lot this summer.
While the original version reprises their collaboration with Ann Saunderson, who provided the vocals to 2002’s ’Blackwater’, the instrumental allows greater attention to the track’s constituent parts. The track opens with a tough and grooving house beat, opening onto a trademark Octave One bassline: driving and funky, which underpins almost the entire track. It’s structure is simple but effecive, building slowly throughout with strings and pads, before reaching a crescendo and gradually removing elements until its close. ‘Just Don’t Speak’ combines the machine-driven funk and epic string arrangement that are so closely associated with Detroit, and with Octave One.
For more Octave One on STW:
Talking Tech: Octave One