Hell yeah! This is proper good. Almost startling in its simplicity. Unpretentious, unfussy. A moody head nodder, with funk to boot, that almost veers into Mover darkcore territory. Trends ‘IronFist’ is also a fine bit of darkage…can’t really compete with the Don’s though.
A cryptic underground feel to this release. Not much info out there on the artists involved, (certainly not much evidence of anything in the same vein on their Soundclouds) a seemingly newish London Bass label but right on the money with the territory they’re exploring.
Sharing some of the deconstruction aesthetics of Rabit or Bloom this initially feels firmly bedded in Techno foundations (particularly ‘Yeah’) but becomes more hybrid Grime orientated the further one delves into the tracks.
The Lokane remix of “Headshot” is heavy on the disorientating psychedelics and splintered, heavy and jarring in its own right, but unquestionably it’s the Luru remix that really heats up the mixing desk and runs it red to maximum slamming effect, saving the best for last. Full of the right amount of gritty distortion, swirling spatial trickery, gnarly rollercoaster peaks and G-force troughs this is true industrial Grime. You just need to be right out in the middle of the dancefloor for this one. Absolutely blazing!
Needless to say this is blazing! Pinch starts strong and dark in his deep, booming 808 sub, stripped, 128bpm 4/4 vein and the mix never lets up. Mumdance nearly goes Breakcore at one point as well as dropping a Perc & Truss remix of ‘Move Your Body’ (a logical choice of remixer for that one!) and Logos drops some truly fierce, decon, Grime bangers about 3/4 of the way through. Riko is chatting too much shit by this stage though. Wicked tunes, just hard to hear them properly. Unbelievably dark brand new Kahn & Pinch dubplate mixed in by Pinch around the 1:36:30-1:37:00+ mark!!!! Bloody hell! As a whole it’s getting harder to really say what this style or genre is anymore, or what it’s morphing into, but that can only be good. These guys are ploughing a new furrow.
Difficult to decide who to discuss here. I could equally have chosen, but would also file in a similair vein, the Deke Soto ‘Black Ice’ track & Rabit’s ‘Thug Rotorvator’ off the San Pellegrino compilation Raw Club Material Vol.3, but Bloom wins the day for sheer looney mechanoid construction and polished chrome sound.
This is proper headphone listening as well as soundsystem intent; the layering and spectrum ranging from super tight, straight down the middle kicks and bass hits, to reverbed sweeps and panning that stretch far into the distance on tight elastic recoil to bounce straight back in your face. ‘Dark Light’ is probably the finest example on the EP and not without its own slow building groove buried within; it still retains enough to not descend into total funkless abstraction. The old dynamics of tension and release get dissected to shards and small statements pasted together with volumes of silence, echoes and pauses, almost as if Bloom has simply muted or discarded his drum tracks.
(Note: I would say Aphasic (Ambush Records) was possibly attempting a not disimilair, disjointed, deconstructive approach with his “moving in several directions at once” production ethos??).
One thing to point out – I’m no music journo and I never really enjoyed writing about music so don’t expect any deep insights here ya get me? All I have is my instinct and my thirst for finding new veins in the rock face. But this album….this album definitely blew me away on all fronts and almost single handedly got me buying and hunting down tunes again. When I heard it I just knew something ‘new’ was going down and I suddenly felt I had a lot of catching up to do. Kind of on a par with hearing Underground Resistance for the first time, I felt the old obsessive trainspotter awakening again.
Andrew Ryce’s review on Resident Advisor is pretty much on the money in articulating the albums scope and power. Yes, I guess it is part “grime deconstruction” (the removal of “vital pieces” for sure) but I also agree it’s the “silence”, the “quiet”, the spaces left inbetween. More on Logos later….