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)
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.
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.
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….
Something I used to love about old school hardcore was the use of heaven/hell, light/dark, silly/nasty juxtaposition. It always worked on a crowd under the influence. The cloying, nagging, diva sample, wailing some banality that in a fevered state might have seemed profound, the cheap piano vamp putting hands in the air – and then the drop straight into some hellish triple reversed filtered mentasm/dominator/hoover whatever. Who knows how many brain cells were lost to this nirvana?
“Mischieved” (no full clip out there?) took me straight back to that era; a repetitive, looped, falsetto female voice trills away in the upper reaches before a truly ugly and lumpen, prolo jackboot bass crushes it with its heel and locks into a juddering metronomic groove. Expert heaven and hell dynamics.
“Run Dem” is equally fine but with a slightly more generic beat (the snare cracks exactly where it should, a Ragga sample says “Run Dem!” before the drop…you get the drift) and to be be honest there’s hardly enough difference in the original and the Mershak remix; a bit gnarlier maybe but kind of a pointless exercise.
A deliciously simple, ultra phat, dance floor banger to get the sweat glistening on those young, thrashing limbs. Drenched in soggy, warehouse space reverb this has some clinically functional, lugubrious doomcore rave qualities. As with many Bass tunes of the moment the 4/4 kick drum is simply replaced to full effect by a 4/4 bowling sub. It does the trick.
I could probably, no definitely, lose it on the dance floor to this, coming up on 3 or 4 shit Es as the sirens wash over me and green lasers strafe the crowd. But those days are gone and hey, Hodge seems to have a pungent stench of annoying scenester about him and the Berceuse Heroique label even worse (don’t even get me started on them!).
He gets way too much online gush and props for his, frankly, pretty fuckin’ conservative, minimal, faceless grey output; I’ve checked it all, believe; most of it just more pointless techno junk to add to the endlessly burning plastic scrap mountains in China. But the cyberweb intershitnet craves more of everything now, continuously, so roll on the end of the world.
Who would want to be young these days eh? I’ll take my viagra and memories any day.