Friday, June 04, 2010


On Appleblim's mighty Applepips label comes "Untitled" by Joe from the Hessle Audio crew. The track is like a weird audio-illusion, tho I can't quite figure out which direction the trick mirror is facing; its own spaciousness keeps me guessing: is this a minimal-ish mix that presents a mirage of biziness; or is the tune in fact programatically complex, but tricksy beat-spacing makes me think it's wide-open and stripped back?

Ah, who cares.

I like the little smears of crackle - like someone trying to Moonwalk in velcro slip-ons on a gravel path - and the tiny, almost unobtrusive Worrellesque mod.wheel synthfonk interjections: blink n you (almost) miss 'em. And there's a slooow dnwards-sliding organ glide that sounds, well - not ominous, but ever so slightly worrying to my ears: it's like some post-techno equivalent of a Laurie Johnson music cue from some old House of Hammer TV production...not so much "don't go down into the cellar!", but more a sort of shorthand for, "there's something a bit off about the next-door neighbour's wife". Which is nice n subtly creepy rather than heavy-handed.

"Subtle" is a good word for a lot of the production chops on show here: repeated plays uncover all sorts of things - sounds that you didn't necesarily notice the first few times. It's confident-sounding and forward-thinking, rather than flashy. Quirkily seductive. The bass pulls you forward, into the sound-picture without dominating proceedings.

I like the fact that someone seems to come home half-way through the track and take their coat off in the hall.

In someways I like the sheer lurchiness of the flip-side "Digest" more. I certainly didn't expect to hear that gong-stretched-into-a-flute sound. Like the A-side, the percussion programming is v. inventive - a real joy to behear - and there's some cool fake-electric-piano moves on show, but it's the rhythmic curve-balls - the unexpected staggers, shifts and sways that I'm digging here.

Good stuff.


At 11:20 pm, Blogger Fritz Bogott said...

Man, I used to listen to Omni Trio in the mid-90's, and all the dubstep I keep hearing reminds me of that and related comps, and not in a good way. Everybody I respect has at least SOME dubstep they dig. I must be old, or have an attitude problem or something. It confuses me. Can you lend me some new ears?

At 4:21 pm, Blogger Jason Gusmann said...

fritz, i fear i am no help. i really dig some dubstep, hate some other, but i'll be damned if i can explain why i feel the way i do about either. strange thing to be old (39) and still listening, kinda.

At 8:08 pm, Blogger I am not Kek-w said...

Yeah, there's been a schism/bifurcation in recent years between, I dunno, the heavier/darker/wobblier/more macho/half-step/son-of-drum-n-bass styles - some of which is good (but I wouldn't want to listen to it all night) - and more progressive/hybrid flavas (some of which is great and some not-so-great). I cleave more to the latter than the former.

The stuff that is more interesting to me personally is the stuff made by producers who don't even use the term Dubstep anymore - it's various subgenres of Post-Dubstep or UK Urban Bass Music or whatever you wanna call it.

I do have a big softspot for a lot of the Bristol / peripherally west-country producers - they're some of my own personal favourites. I like Peverelist / Punch Drunk label, Appleblim, Jamie Vex'd, Gatekeeper, Joker, etc...I like the Immerse label too...I like some of Zomby's stuff (but not all of it)...I like Guido...

Kode9 and the Hyperdub label are consistently excellent (tho much of it has moved a loooong way away from what was once known as Dubstep - Kode has been in the game since the Jungle days, so is v. eclectic in what he puts out) - as are Mala / DMZ.

But if you *do* go and check out some of this stuff it's not necesarily going to be full-on dubbed-out in the traditional way - so if you're looking for, say, electronic re-stylings of King Tubby, etc - you ain't gonna find it....some of my own personal tastes also veer towards some of the smearier / hypercomplex tonescapes of what's sometimes known as Wonky - tho most of the artists involved hate that term, so I'm trying my hardest to avoid it here.

You may well find that you really don't like some of the stuff that I like and that's the way it should be lol.

At 9:59 pm, Blogger Fritz Bogott said...

I suspect what I'm actually mourning is having fallen fifteen years out of step with electronic music, period. I have some comics to get out for a show, and after that I should make a research project of finding some 2010 electronic music I like.

At 10:47 pm, Blogger I am not Kek-w said...

"I suspect what I'm actually mourning is having fallen fifteen years out of step with electronic music, period." - I'm 15 years out of step with everything lol. 15 years on a good day :-)

"I have some comics to get out for a show" - oooh, do tell!


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