I believe my long-term relationship with gabber/idm began one fateful night when a friend spun Emotional Joystick's "Eight" for me (as well as "My Red Hot Car" by Squarepusher, the two of which now have a brother/sister familiarity to me) for the first time. Emotional Joystick is a gateway drug and "Eight" is the undeniable heavyweight first kiss on this EP. The genius of "Eight" leaves the rest of this EP glowing from residual magic. Not too harsh, poppy enough to memorize, but still weird and endlessly rewarding upon relisten. Your girlfriend might even be into it.
Recommendation: play "Eight" at 33 1/3 rpm and very very loud.
Eight will always hold a place near and dear to me. It's just so perfect. The 8-bit sounding synth line he uses here somehow carries a quality of truth and timelessness and the drum programming is sublime. I don't know what it is, but I never get sick of hearing this track. It's one of my favorite compositions ever, on par with Aphex Twin's Boy/Girl song for sheer emotional content.
And in fact, this whole record and the album it was taken from is a work of genius. Takes me to a place when I was about 6 years old, playing in my backyard in the perfect, lazy afternoon sun that felt like it would never end.
Thomas Wincek's genius is his ability to put together compositions of textures that meld together to create entirely new mixtures. Salt and sugar, yeah. "Eight" is definitely the standout track for me, with it's beautiful building and stacking of drums.