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Singles - Progressive Big Room - Issue 604

Maurice Fulton

Earth EP

Gudu Records

9.5
Peggy Gou's Gudu imprint comes with its third release, from the avant-disco maestro himself, the one and only Maurice Fulton. Gou joins him for the A-side vibe, the majestic 'Jigoo', a bumping Chicago-style jam, packed with vintage drums, vintage chords and abstract arps, building to a blazing climax. Maurice monopolises the B-side himself, with 'Not Sure How I Would', a phasing, busted-up beat with rasping guitars, and the barmy 'One Itself', a noisy, psych-house journey into the unknown, thick with congas and interplanetary interference. Visionary.

Kouslin

'2020 Vision'

Livity Sound

9.0
If the first bass drop on Kouslin’s ‘Sharper’ doesn’t make you smile in an instant, you’ve got a heart of stone there mate. In fact, you should drop what you’re doing, go outside and find the first big puddle on the floor that you can see. Look deep into your contorted reflection and proceed to chastise yourself; chastise yourself all the way to hell. This whole drop is wonderful, and the bass work is powerful.

K-Lone

'Cape Cira'

Wisdom Teeth

6.5
There are points within K-Lone’s eight-track 'Cape Cira' where I’m entranced and/or just plain lost in the swirl of prescribed pleasantries, propelled along only by the producer’s subtle shifts in tonation. But there are other moments where I feel like I’m back listening to some hypno relaxation tape for the first time at antenatal class. By all rights though, this is a sweepingly lush album that deserves more plaudits from others.

Two Shell

'N35/Missing In Action'

Mainframe Audio

7.0
I don’t know what game he’s playing, or where he figured out the rhythmic tick in ‘Missing In Action’ from, but Two Shell’s weirding me out on the flip of Mainframe Audio’s debut release. The out of step while still chugging on beat thing is deeply perplexing, unsettling, and I still don’t know if I’m really down with it yet. His garagey chopped vocals on the A-side are a no-brainer, though.

Kutmah

'New Appliance'

All City

8.0
It’s deliciously apt that Kutmah’s long-overdue debut for All City runs the gamut between all beat styles. From so-laid-back-they’re-practically-comatose beats like ‘Tres Flores’ and ‘Stoned In Brixton’, to gnarled and twisted, wonderfully heavy-fisted bits like ‘Centenarians’, Kutmah seems to be drawing from a bank of psyche, punk and industrial influences, that fits both the creeping inevitability of the mood of wider society and the post FlyLo meta-jazz explosion perfectly.

Hodge

'The World Is New Again'

Houndstooth

8.0
Even though Houndstooth's honcho Rob Booth is swerving my messages about it, the release of Hodge’s debut LP for the label is imminent. The Bristol-based producer’s gone from strength to strength over the last handful of years, and ‘The World Is New Again’ is a neat entry point to his album (being that it’s full of moody, orchestral swells and those nagging little riffs he’s so good at nailing).

Ratgrave

'Theme From Metronome/Instant Toothpaste'

Black Focus

9.0
Did anyone else’s dad make them listen to Weather Report on those summer car journeys that seemed to last so long it felt like a whole calendar week had passed by? While I cursed him then and rib him endlessly now for his taste, he introduced me to ‘Birdland’ and ‘River People’, so I forgive him. Ratgrave is what I’m gonna make my son listen to the next time we drive up to Scotland.

Otik

'Thousand Yard Stare'

Gobstopper

8.0
With its rather swimmingly bleak, fractured techno template, Otik’s work for Mr Mitch’s Gobstopper imprint delivers another much-needed booster shot of sprawling, harmonic menace and drum density. For me, ‘Ghost Mole’ is the perfect distillation of the EP; with all of its choppy drum lines, pumping bass work and skittish percussion, it’s got the perfect balance of tense mood and dancefloor execution. Play ‘Antihero’ if you like discombobulated pumpers.