There always seems to be more bass coming outta Bristol. Can’t fault these for the slamage damage and precision separation of the frequencies; it’s OCD, Groundhog Day, caustic loop hell all the way (triggering possible flashbacks to the mid-90s analogue hardnoize days?)
Which is the fly in the ointment really, with all this contemporary industrial techno innit (and my pet topic to moan about) – it’s SO fuckin’ clinical and pernickety it almost feels sinister, like a spotless plastic surgery clinic, the producers now all well trained technicians, nipping and tucking your MDMA rush with the (albeit very) skillful tricks of their trade, but with a kind of detached boredom? “Scalpel….suction….swab….forceps.”
On his own User Experience label he ran a remix competition (Britain’s Got Talent?) for his track ‘Don’t Be Afraid’… there were 146 submissions! (and only 4 made the record). That’s A LOT of man hours for a fairly slim to none return no!?! Make of that what you will, but it says quite a lot about the times we live in. Zero Hours contract techno anyone?
Experimental (via Dubstep origins) 140bpm excursions with some industrial noise flavours, supported by the likes of Goth Trad, Joe Nice & The Bug.
‘Falling Through Inner Earth’ is the stand out sound system banger here, everything zeroed in to the one point of focus; a dentist’s drill incessantly and sadistically probing the same cavity as you float on a bed of opioid sub bass. Raw nerves are jagged as it starts to squeal against bone. We’ve all been there…
Choicest cut off the EP. Ultra deep, seismic judder kicks with an undulating hymnal dirge that tightropes the line between irritating (and a bit obvious) and faintly haunting. It’s the little harmonising snippets of choralesque refrain that keep it interesting (and quite catchy too).
‘Twisted Brass’ was one of the stand tunes that gripped me by the throat and nutted me off the last ever Boxed show on Rinse back in Oct 2017. An absolute snarler and exactly how Grime should deliver: short blows to the abdomen and straight to the MFing point.
This one off the album he did with Trends towards the end of last year (which I somehow missed?) is even more unrelenting in its brutish orc stomp. He’s kind of playing with a formula now, and fine-tuning, honing the template, but damn, who cares? The man’s perfected the sound system grunt to a T.
I dunno about the waves reference in the title? To me it’s an immersive drift down a long dark river – ‘Aguirre’/‘Heart of Darkness’ etc. each track perhaps portraying a distinct vista or section of the same journey?
Fuzzy, incessant, polyrhythmic beacons pulse in the gloom and murk. There’s the sense of an unknown beyond… and a feverish, indifferent blankness (as opposed to any menace or peril) to the somber walls of impenetrable chattering Amazonian canopy he builds. ’Suffrage Campaigners’ is (possibly?) the heaviest, maze-like cut here on what for me is his best and most complex release yet.
Relative newcomers to the fray this lot, but then there’re always fresh lambs to the techno slaughter eh? It’s like Verdun – it just pitilessly consumes untold souls in the fire.
Draugr gives it a frantic, panic room, mech loop stomp pushing past the 140bpm mark. Makes me feel a bit queasy to be honest – I think it’s fair to call this “drug noise” heh.
Makornik’s LP is a more thumpy, scuzzy, broken affair with dirty, free party vibes. Almost like everything is coated in viscous, sooty engine grease instead of being honed and polished. It blunts the edges and makes the whole nowhere near as angry as the titles want you to believe.
More drum & bass/techno hybrid goodness – that is; d&b tempos but with blank concrete techno facades and shorn of any brok out/booyacka aspirations. No-one’s going to be doing any rewinds on these – they’re from a completely different world anyway. The label touts 011 in terms of “fundamentals” and “reductions” (which is er, minimalism no?)
Overlook flips it to his signatures (and frankly leaves the newcomers on 011 in the dust) – that is; techno tempos and a pungent bouillabaisse of ambient fog banks with a d&b step and stagger and subby boom. Not exactly bangers, more like rollin’ rumblers, dark meditations draped over long, evolving frameworks to glide down the rabbit hole on.