Two For A Jacks
‘Two For A Jacks’ is the opening cut taken from Akito’s brand new long-player, 'Gone Again' but, more than that, it summarises his place at the “nodal point of east London’s club scene”. What that translates to is essentially a symbiotic stew of noodling instrumental grime and tough-nut UK funky, which is precisely my home field axis. So, um, yes... I’m a pretty big fan of the lad’s ridiculously pitched, kinetic riffing, hollow synths and tribal drum-driven swagger.
There’s acres of space in the tracks on Deft’s newest EP for the impeccable 20/20 LDN label. On cuts like ‘Done’, he seems happy to just dot out his percussive elements while the frosty, bitter synths swell in and out of reverb. His bass work deserves way more plaudits than I could ever give him in this word limit: the descending bass drone on the criminally short ‘Rollon’, the seesaw on ‘For Sudden VIP’ and the hoover on ‘Done’, all go hard.
Hodge’s new EP for Berceuse Heroique sounds like he’s having some fun with his production. There’s a distinct whiff of the carefree about the melodic, hyper colourful riffing on ‘Night Run’ and there’s certainly a wry smile to the EP closer ‘Bam’, a tune that just sort of flogs its quickened drum pattern super hard for ages. But these are precisely the things that make him so adaptable and unpredictable. I for one will celebrate the lad’s diversity.
Blackest Ever Black
‘Cloudy’ is a very welcome monster. On it, Beneath wields one of those sweetly stupid, duh-duh-duuuh du-duh duuuuuuhhhhhhh bass riffs, that harks back to Sunday nights at FWD>> (complete with the requisite delayed eight-bit snatches and hollow whirly-tube pads). It lurches loud with such intent and purpose. ‘Outsource’ on the flip has more rugged drums, spitting reverb and technoid accents, but it’s the perfect bleak-as-night partner to the A side. Hot damn.
'Don't DJ For Free'
Reportedly a ‘lost’ dub since reconstructed, Silkie’s ‘Don’t DJ For Free’ is indicative of that boom-time during dubstep’s heyday where every new LFOed bassline you heard sounded like THE most vital thing ever. But what’s really still evident over this duo of tracks for Barely Legal’s Pretty Weird label, is that Silkie’s lost none of that command of swing, soul or subs. Both rather steppy, it’s the flip, ‘Rhythm Junkie’, that's the Detroit-infused stand-out.
Ryan James Ford
A collection of four blown-out, rollocking, breakbeat driven tracks comprise the latest 12” to be released on The Kelly Twins' deeply Bristolian outlet, Happy Skull. As ever with the Skull, Ryan James Ford’s tracks manage to cut their own path. It just so happens that Ford’s path is littered with jagged shards of long forgotten breaks, shades of '90s IDM and the kind of synth loops you’d hope you could make just for fun.’Ormst Kaban’ is the tip.
There’s a bass tone to the kick-drums on ‘Drift’ from Unperson’s new EP for Only Ruins that is an actual, clear and present delight. Among the sweeps of synth, the bleeps and the reversed snares, that shit punches ALL the way through to the surface, and pulls maximum focus. Along with ‘U Got Mine’, it’s one of the more lithe and re-playable cuts on the 12”, which is a rather varied collection of 'techno aware', bass-heavy dancefloor music.
A slow bumping, four-four, dancefloor cut called ‘Richochet’ from Bambooman marks the two-year anniversary of Matthew Herbert’s Accidental Jnr label, complete with a remix from Herbert himself. Whilst Bambooman’s layering might feel a little simplistic — the main riff sounds like a flammed snare roll jammed and warped through a synth wash — the damage the pounding riff does at volume is undeniable. Herbert’s remix is a bit more skewed as one might expect, but that intermittent bass refrain is absolutely golden.
The galloping ‘What’ is the first taste of Bruce’s forthcoming album for the home of the holy DJ triumvirate, Hessle Audio. It’s a bit of a mutant; a shifting, nagging, stomping cut that evolves into something maddening while hinting at the kind of manipulation and sound design that will be encapsulated on Bruce’s 'Sonder Somatic' album. When the underlying squall turns into a pitched scream at one point, you realise that even though ‘What’ is essentially one riff, it has multiple layers.