‘Captured Entities’ is the debut album of deeply raw house and psycho-jit-jazz by Detroit producer and DJ, Howard Thomas aka H-Fusion. Spanning the breadth of Howard’s hands-on, tracky style - from beatless cosmic jazz audities to slamming 170bpm missiles and heart-grabbing house - it’s arguably one of the most distinctive, dare-to-be-different albums from the 313 in recent memory
The fruit of more than 5 years of communication between Howard and The Death of Rave, ‘Captured Entities’ expands on the ruffneck, asymmetric slant of his killer 2005-2012 productions for Sound Signature and Fit - as played by everyone from Kyle Hall to Kassem Mosse - across 11 unruly numbers united by an intuitive, jazz-wise approach to his synths and MPC2000. While his sound may remind of many Detroit greats such as Omar-S, Damon Peterson/8088, and Urban Tribe/DJ Stingray, Howard can’t help but sound like himself, and his debut album is best defined by its classically driven yet singular Detroit soul clinamen.
Where too many producers’ lip-service to jazz is betrayed by their gridlocked uniformity, Howard cuts the f*ck loose in real-time, improvised jams which have made it to the final tracklist because of their unquantised cantankerousness and frictional quality. Sawn-off blasts of hardcore warehouse rave give way to sultry, dream-away house jackers and a ruck of diesel- fuelled bangers that sound like Nate Young doing Jit with DJ Stingray at a Detroit biker bar. When combined with the curdled gob of beatless, cosmic noise and the cranky swaggering cyberpunk on the LP’s closing side, ‘Captured Entities’ really comes into its own as a unique expression of Michigan grit which, by design or chance, effectively splits the difference between Black Noise and Wolf Eyes.
This kind of instinctively jazz-taught, stylistic and metric versatility is rare in Detroit- manufactured techno albums beyond, say, the debut Omar-S album ‘Just Ask The Lonely’, or the eponymous Urban Tribe LP for KDJ’s Mahogani Music, and the track sequencing of ‘Captured Tracks’ aims to highlight the album’s strength in its diversity. Illuminated by an exceptional mastering job from Anne at Berlin’s D&M which reveals all it’s dusty details and rewards cranked volume in spades, ‘Captured Entities’ is a uniquely rude, thrilling and soulfully compelling album from any angle, and a long overdue LP testament to one of Detroit’s most peculiar, instinctive, and unsung artists.