Clouds: HTID (Electric Deluxe)

Clouds - HTID

I’ve always thought there’s a touch of Just William (as opposed to Action’s ‘Kids Rule OK’ – showing my age here heh) about these Perth lads. Nothing particularly burly (as some have said) or threatening at all, but more like opening the back door and finding two scruffy urchins standing on your step covered in mud with big grins on their faces, looking like they’ve been dragged through a hedge backwards; they tell you they’ve made something for you and from behind their backs they bring out…a mud pie! (or a 12″ even!) Cheeky chappies, always getting up to mischief, that sort of thing.

Their output gets filed as techno, but a lot of it plainly isn’t by a long shot. With the amount of mucky breakbeats and broken beats they toss around on each release it’s almost, dare I say it, often more breakcore-ish (in its freestylishness) if not a nod even to the days of Jungle Tekno? (check out last year’s ‘An Outrageous Fate Type’ and ‘DJ Ultra Greatsword’ EPs and make up your own minds).

There’s also an almost couldn’t-care-less, smeared-out, bleary veneer to their productions which also feeds this particular image of mine, not entirely pleasantly sometimes either. A bit like the stale fart fug coming from a teenage playstation/wank pit den; you just want to open all the windows and let some fresh air in. It’s as if they have their outputs set permanently through some low-pass filter? or maybe they’re just up all night and bombed off their heads on strong weed?

But that’s their style I guess – bass murk and rumblings a plenty and a kind of artful, semi-chaotic, looseness rather than the crisp, often sterile, punch and sheen of other genres/producers – and it definitely sets them apart from the rest of the techno massive.

It’s a no brainer really but ‘Fallout’ is the obvious stand out banger for me with its old school break/rave hoover and air raid sirens.

 

 

Vargdöd: Bitten

Vargdod

One of those tunes where I was casually listening to the radio (Verity Sharp/”Late Junction” BBC Radio 3, cooking mi dinner, as you do heh) but had to stop and listen with full concentration when this came on. It grabbed me by the scruff of my neck! Had me thinking of Unit Moebius/Den Haag “dirge” techno but with heavier production.

A fine builder that could go on and on, but ultimately leaves you hanging for more when it cuts dead at the peak (as the best often do). Damn it all.

Pugilist: Raindance EP

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Pugilist smashes it again on Kenzo’s Artikal. He’s going to be one to watch if he keeps this up. ‘Raindance’ drops dessicated, concrete block beats and such hugely compressed bass weight you feel like you’re levitating a few inches off the floor on a magic carpet of low frequencies. No idea how the kid does it? but it’s special!
‘Murmur’ is the other standout for me, with a quirky stagger and lolloping swing to the groove; more slimey, rolling, more organic and wastelandish.

King Ayisoba: Africa Needs Africa

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New meets traditional, “uproots” music from Ghana. I dip my toe into African music now and then, but it’s often hard to know where to begin (or end…), but feeling this one big time. “We wanted the drums leading and upfront all the time, not as exotic additions“. Good call, and that’s what gives it its drive. Big bass and totally infectious harsh-edged vocals that would tear up any foward thinking party no matter what genre the set.

Pugilist: Astral Plane

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This is more like it. If you’re going to slavishly emulate and/or reference an all out Dub aesthetic you may as well come correct and get heavy with the business, rather than faff around with all this tasteful, fussy, calibration and twee restraint. Here we have the convincing, unforgiving smack, thud and pummel of a running-it-red, booming rig at peak witching hour, absolutely wiping the floor with the tepid likes of aforementioned Karma and other lightweight wannabes. I mean it’s not hard to do, if you set your dial to it, so better cut it professional with thick and oily ganja fug, and not fuck around, knowhaddmean?

To be honest I think this is a raw nerve within the Dubstep ‘community’. This blog has more tumbleweeds rolling through it than an abandoned desert western film set most of the time, ya get me? so when I posted some knocked off, rambling thoughts about Digidub v Dubstep last year, I was more than a little surprised to have more reads/visitors in a few hours/days than I get in a couple of months!? Go figure. I should re-write that piece properly and flesh out my argument coherently (if and when I can be bothered) because I was clearly on to something?