TSVI: Inner Worlds (Nervous Horizon)

“Tribal”… you know the schtick. All the arguments against cultural appropriation, ‘exoticism’, ‘beat trafficking’, some even say ‘colonialism’, it’s still (and rightly so) a politically charged debate – and you dip your toes in and sample (or poach) from those ponds at your peril. Or otherwise turn all global smorgasbord DJ Rupture doolally. If you’ve never even heard of Tarraxo or you want to go down this particular interweb rabbit hole there’s a good 2015 artice from The Con here. It’s a warren!

I mean you can read TSVI’s PR blurb yourselves and draw your own conclusions. I think the two tracks released so far are actually a pretty deft bit of clinical, laboratory conditioned, genetic manipulation/crossbreeding. A sort of a Portugese Raw Beat (I wouldn’t dare say of what flavour exactly!) Cold Rush/FFM rave fusion thing? Perhaps? Damn funky though and really powerful sub bass precision thump for the dance floor.

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Lurka: Heat Mover / Battery (Timedance)

Mr. Benjamin Tregaskes on Batu’s label.

Like a cloud of depression lifting, it feels liberating to get out of the plodding murk and scuzz of ‘Berlin-based’/Industrial/Techno and its ilk. Feels like I’ve been stuck in that swamp for too long – or possibly that I just don’t try hard enough to escape sometimes?

Things are always cleaner and smoother Bristol way though, and funkier too – there’s a good dose of futuristic polished chrome detailing and trim in the vibes without forgetting the sound system end game.

Lurka puts a top swing to the chugging beat here, without any processed cheese and combines it with a heavy subs battery and filtering rave stabbing.

Walton: Black Lotus (Tectonic)

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.

Pinch: Walking With Shadows (Swamp 81)

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.

Aquarian: Hamburglar Helper (Hanger Management)

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.