A2. ‘Drivers License’ is the one you want here. A bubbling, acidic electro, slow cooker, brought to the boil for an eventual serving of dark rave, best set aside and served cold. Props to my pal Ghetto G for hipping me to this one.
My go-to Dubstep label for at least the past year or so. Mainly specialising in a normally monthly and regular turnover of digital releases over the past four years and an (understandably) slower vinyl schedule, label bosses Content (UK) & Deafblind (USA) seem to have a keen A&R ear for sourcing some of the freshest, foward thinking producers around at the moment. From all over the globe too. I nearly always buy a tune or two off each release and can’t fault the quality control. They started using the term ‘Loose’ last year to describe a certain style gradually coming to the fore, or more probably one they’re trying to form (as opposed to ‘Deep’ or the now considered, old school ‘Dungeon’) – I guess they mean the more broken, staggered, wonky beat grooves, polyrhythmic wubs and bass wobbles. It’s a micro tweak really, but at least it’s incremental progress. Rather predictably, my favourites always seem to be the more brutish Grime tinged blurters! Darkraqqen (DE) & Ramsez’s (USA) ‘FLM’ is top notch filth, as is Karnage’s (JPN) ‘Death Proof’ which is about as subtle as a sledgehammer smashing up the dancefloor. Just the way we like it.
Must say, I didn’t think too much of this when it came out in March. I’d been playing catch up and listening to a tonne of the Grey Area et al. stuff over the last months so maybe I’d just ODed on the Horo sound? It sounded too muddy and murky with all its (mercifully) low in the mix corrosive EDM vocals and farty bass. I bought it though, like the nerd I am, and persevered with it in the pick-up with the sub woofer cranked on my night drives home. And suddenly I got right into it. It seemed to get better on repeat listens (something that’s not always or often the case). The extended 10 minute ‘Skewer’ was the one that did it for me and pulled me in: the cavernous Doom claps that whip up the vibe at the beginning….but then I wish they hadn’t been dropped out of the mix altogether….something could have really been done with those?
I don’t often dip my toe in the IDM pond these days (and I normally run a mile when faced by enormous discographies/back catalogues and business like release schedules of the likes of Madrid’s own Semantica here…) but this EP from the Spanish DJ veteran seemed to shine with a veneer of class and crystalline focus that makes it pretty captivating. It drifts and judders simultaneously, not exactly weightless or lost in zero gravity (except at the end maybe, on the appropriately titled ‘Exhale and Expand’) but with an absence of stress and strain. That doesn’t make it too innocuous or blank either – there’s some intensity and pressure on ‘Acceptance’ and particularly ‘Edges of Mortality’ with its shards of paranoia.
An instrumental/beat based around a bike chain sample! Making the ‘grinding’ of beat making literal. Pure genius. The album is dope too. I’m particularly into the first two cuts, produced by Thook. Pure red eye business, dripping with louche, hydroponic street smarts. You don’t even have to inhale to feel baked off this.
And speaking of dusted business, I only just discovered Earl Sweatshirt a while back. I’m always behind with hip hop. This tune off his 2015 album “I Don’t Like Shit, I Don’t Go Outside’…
Pinchos delivers two locked down tight, 128bpm numbers on Loefah’s Swamp 81 label (which I hadn’t checked in a long while – forgotten he had his own label even). I didn’t think too much of them on first listen but I’ve been mucking about with them in the mix and they’re growers. What I like about them is their versatility, how they successfully skirt being ‘proper’ (plod) Dubstep or being sucked into the techno black hole. You can mix them out of full on noisey nosebleed stuff, or into sparser, deeper blunt intensity. Both ways work just as well.
Proper. Lanky and loose, knuckle dragging, lumber step that somehow calibrates the right amount of abstract with ultra heavy weight groove and pitched low syrupy percussion oozing in the reverb. I love the way the beat in ‘Avet’ just cuts out completely half way through (2:32) to deliver deep exhales of near catatonic baked perfection.