Mark E, ‘Stone Breaker’ (Spectral Sound)
Birmingham, England’s Mark Evetts got his start as a student of disco’s razor edits, meticulously carving up Diana Ross and Janet Jackson hits into hypnotic, mid-tempo jams that anticipated house music’s current slow-motion vogue. On his debut album as Mark E, the student becomes the teacher. Stylistically, Stone Breaker reads like a survey in Chicago house and Detroit techno, playing bare-bones drum machines against bright, buoyant synthesizers, short on obvious riffs, but full of character. Assembled as carefully as he once cut up a cappellas, it’s a dance-music textbook.