There’s a clinical sheen to this LP – and I mean that in a good way; that feeling (and chemical smell) you sometimes get when you open up some brand new gadget or pair of kicks you’ve had your eye on for ages; the boxfresh, straight from the factory moment. Also a monastic, almost martial art simplicity and restraint to a lot of the beat and bass mongering (that in the wrong hands is just plod, like say Youngsta’s schtick, but here attains the finesse of handcrafted Japanese blades), a deliberate pacing for the subs to really breath and hit lower. ‘Point Blank’, ‘Mad Zapper’ and ‘Angry Drummer’ are my top tunes here.
New Zealander Ebb drops some hybrid bass/dubstep sparseness on one of Outrage’s (Nomine Sound) sub-labels, Fox & Hound Recordings. At a slower 130bpm these tunes sound more aligned with a Bristol/Tectonic vibe. ‘Sun Drips’ barely has a beat at all – just a staggered, filthy, bit reduced, rave stab and a dirty bowling bass making for an interesting skeletal proposition.
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.
1. Mumdance & Logos: FFS/BMT (Different Circles)
2. Pinch & Mumdance: Strobe Light/Control (Tectonic)
3. NKC: Tincture (Her)
4. Deapmash: Halcyon VIP (Leisure System)
5. N1L: Ikea Zen EP (UIQ)
Some wicked, shuffling, neo-breakbeat tunes doing the rounds at the moment. And an older Deapmash & Raito tune from last year I dug up in the same vein. (Nearly) hands in the air rush vibes.
The dirty uncles sounding totally at ease and on top of their game, thumping out the “deep, dark, rollers.” Old and new, all styles and a new W3C dubplate that smashes it.
No idea what that tune is that comes in at 13:04 is?? but it’s a fuckin’ destroyer! and my new sub woofer in the car nearly blew out the windows!!!
Download while you still can.
Aquarian massively on point again and he’s upped the bass, yet again, bigtime. Seems to do it everytime. First listen you think ‘ho-hum’, all a bit techno formalist, but then you hear his signature mastery of teasing out the build and tension and it’s really on the breakdown and second drop at the 5:00+ mark that the track lights up and reaches full dancefloor velocity; the wicked, totally infectious, chopped breakbeat shuffle that he’s so good at. Minimal ingredients, maximal results.
Storming release on Sudanim & Miss Modular’s Her label! with a typically hi-shine polish and almost (dare I say) hyper clean “designer” cut. Her definitely have their own aesthetic going on, artwork included; nothing scuzzy or frayed round the edges at all.
Absolutely loving the stripped back boom and crack of the broken beat pummelling and the precision screeching here; on a par with Mumdance & Logos explorations, but steadier, smoother. And yeah, its true; it is shorn of melody (for the better I’d say) but I don’t really hear the connection with tribal house at all?!? Read the blurb from the label below. Interesting developments afoot for sure; “Hard Drum”….
“Growing tired of clunky descriptions of the hybrid tracks he’d been pushing at Even the Strong and in sets on RinseFM and Radar through 2015-16, NKC adopted the term ‘hard drum’ as a tongue in cheek shorthand for his and other producers’ polyrhythmic creations. Moving into 2017, those listening carefully will be aware of a groundswell of mostly UK based producers and DJs gravitating towards this sound, reminiscent of UK funky and tribal house, but largely shorn of melodic components. NKC continues to proffer the label ‘hard drum’ for this new development, gently prodding anyone struggling to interpret artists’ influences forwards into something more than a continuation of older scenes.”
I picked up on a lot of solid gems from one of Manni Dee’s shows on Rinse back in June (recommended by our always-on-the-case ZFE of course!) most in a deep “industrial” techno vein, but it’s not so much the category that matters, more the avalanche boom and thud of the huge warehouse reverbs applied to the low end and kicks that releases the oppressive tonnage onto the dancefloor (real or imagined). The syncopated broken beats, fuzz ‘n’ grind and paranoid trill of “Scent of Decline” is my personal fave here, but also feeling the breakbeat combo on “Rumination”.