Le Dom: Schism EP (Paradoxe Club)

There’s no rotting meat left on these bone dry, stripped clean, digital bashers from Frenchy Domenico Bercelli.

Schizoid and itchy, and ever so slightly irritating, hyper kinetic bass.

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.

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.

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.

 

 

Pinch: Screamer

Pinch_-_Screamer_No_Justice_-_Tectonic

Oh Pinch, Pinch, Pinch. Must you? A genuinely fresh, interesting, deep and gnarly hybrid tune (as one would expect from the Don) but utterly ruined by Riko Dan chatting utterly generic pseudo-gangster, juvenile soundbwoy, testosterone shite over the top. Name me one word or phrase he “spits” that we haven’t heard before?? Why? Why? Why?

Hold tight for the instrumental….