Clocking in at over nine minutes and riding on a martial disco beat, Matthew Dear's "Little People (Black City)" is an unlikely candidate for the first single from Black City, the Brooklyn-based producer's career-defining third album. And yet, nothing makes more sense, as the track neatly encapsulates Black City's mix of dystopian futurism, creeping anxiety, and sonic beauty. Inverting disco's pleasure principle, "Little People (Black City)" traffics in unresolved tension and melodic ambiguity as choruses are eschewed in favor of expertly paced movements and gleaming synthesizers morph into prickly guitar figures. In the end, "Little People (Black City)"'s length is its greatest strength—Matthew Dear takes the scenic route, guiding the listener through the winding streets of his fictional metropolis in all its wondrous, terrifying glory.
The single of "Little People (Black City)" includes two remixes by Mark E. On the "dub" version, the UK producer turns "Little People"'s maximalist tendencies on their head, rebuilding the track into a kraut-influenced chugger with a minimal, sinister undertow. Mark E.'s "remix" version works closely with the original, warming up "Little People"'s chilly ambiance and dosing the backbeat with a satisfyingly melodic bassline.
Little People (Black City)
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