For a lot of people’s money Eglo co-owner Floating Points is already dance music royalty. As a studious fellow whose passion for rare groove and jazz music has already blossomed into bona fide classics of the ilk of ‘Vacuum Boogie’, his fans are not wrong. Not one bit. This latest two-track delivery of his proves exactly why in one short breath — so shot through with soul and musicality that it peers over everything else on this page.
After a bit of a pregnant pause, one of Norwich’s brightest producers, Sully, returns with an extended EP for Dusk & Blackdown’s Keysound imprint. The lad sounds like he’s been very happily exploring jungle tempos in the time between longer form releases, with the 'Blue EP' a collection of drum & bass tempoed rollers that take his wanton command of swing and breakbeat science up onto a completely different plateau. ‘Simple’ is the perfect example of this new approach.
Releasing your EP as a beach towel with an accompanying download package is an idea. It’s a very cool idea, but I can’t help imagining that it took a few prototypes to find the towel that’d wrap around all of Sluga’s looming frame perfectly. The music on 'Coolest' is definitely some of his lightest, most melodic production yet, but I loved the pomp and naïve aggression of his other stuff so this just feels a bit light-hearted in comparison.
Now more than ever it’s pretty hard to come with a half-step instrumental grime thing that isn’t going to meld into the melee of other stuff that’s coming out. That’s why the weirder edges of it (the Visionists, Rabits, and Mumdances of this world) are due so much praise. But every now and then, someone like Chemist comes with thunder; with big chunky tunes that aren’t trying to rationalise a damn thing. And that’s fucking cool too.
I know I talk about my passion for drum workouts A LOT and I know I don’t ever really justify it properly. But I don’t really have to, because an insane deployment of rhythm and percussion should be a super infection. It should prompt and force movement out of you without you really acknowledging it. And despite the slowed pace, Lurka’s three-tracker for Black Acre does do that in places, it’s just not so much of an emphatic thing.
Considering that it’s taken just one cassette and a digital-only single release to spell out the words Filter Dread in reflected sonar pings on a lot of people’s radars, his 'MIDI Space' release for RAMP needed to come hard with something different. And it really does. All that crumpled sounding equipment and Dread’s unapologetic compression approach has fused an EP that applies the rowdiness of peak-time drum & bass to slower tempos perfectly. Recognisably brutal.
Goddamn do I respect a man like Matthew Herbert — an artist who can take everyday objects (and pig carcasses) and process the sounds you make by hitting them in different ways in the exploratory ways he does. That sort of production stuff will forever be cool and Herbert’s first house 12” in eight years, 'Part 6', is also indelibly calm and collected: a four track collection of contorted and distorted tracks that’ll welcome-ly weird out any dancefloor.
I appreciate what Tessela is doing for several reasons. Firstly, he’s seems to have chosen his sound palette (a homely kind of corroded, blown-out amp one) and is very content to just try and explore that. Secondly, he’s doing things with it that other people aren’t (read: leading from the front) and thirdly it all sounds so corrupt and gnarly that even the simple riff on ‘C’mon Let's Slow Dance’ sounds like a masterstroke of engineering.
Styles Upon Styles
The New York-born Gut Nose pushes a strain of dilapidated house that resonates with what people like Untold and Tessela do on one side, in terms of frequency range, whilst drawing a bit of a parallel to the jacking work of West Norwood Cassette Library, in terms of programming, on the other. The resulting music bears a sort of monochrome jaundice, a static saturation that all but overshadows the depth of the drum work. Just caustic.