Beats Per Month: November, 2013

In our BPM column, we review a clutch of the most intriguing electronic music currently on offer. This month, Louise Brailey on Mister. Beatnick, Fis, Objekt, Nguzunguzu, Pearson Sound, and Renaissance Man.

Musician: Mr. Beatnick
Title: The Synthetes Trilogy
Label: Do not be Afraid
Format (release date): CD/digital (out now)

London’s Mr Beatnick may not be the particular world’s biggest self-promoter, preferring that will his musical knowledge speak pertaining to itself. And it did, furnishing DISC JOCKEY sets, stints on Rinse plus NTS, music writing, and, every now and then, his quietly brilliant hip-hop up to date productions. It was a suite associated with immaculate house EPs on the Do not be Afraid label that rattled him free from the “producer’s producer” pigeonhole and found him talked up everywhere from Reality to NME (poor soul). Neither hip pastiche nor bass-primed, his original Synthetes trilogy of EPs ran in tangent with, but apart from, the particular strands of house revivalism. Eight original tracks from the original three set of releases are gathered right here, in an expansion pack that includes 4 exclusives and is an exercise in depth plus restraint. Beatnick’s hip-hop background manifests in the subtle use of samples plus frequent excursions into space funk territory (see “Sun Goddess” pertaining to examples of both) but while the comfortable, jazzy chords of “Symbiosis” are spiritually aligned with house classicists like Theo Parrish or Virgo, the rawer excursions suggest the type of Detroit updates installed by the new wave of idiosyncratic producers such as John Heckle. Of the newer songs, both the deep and muted “Waning Moon” and the jungle bpms associated with “Never Dies” provide stylistic variation, but let’s not mess about—it’s not the exclusive tracks which make this one essential.

Preparations EP
Tri Angle
12-inch/digital (November 18th)

Even when placed alongside a handful of other assaults upon drum ’n’ bass orthodoxy, that is what happened when “Cultural Trauma” had been featured on Exit Records’s Mosaic collection earlier this year, Fis’ music juts out there like an unsightly slab of brutalism. Then, his sound was reinforced by a collaborator, the experimental d’n’b producer Consequence. Working alone, his dark, strange vision stretches the particular parameters of the genre until you hear the sockets pop.
Get into Tri Angle, who’ve have discovered a kindred spirit in the Brand new Zealander—and it’s testament to Fis’s very own unplaceable sound that it fits on their roster as well as anywhere. Indeed, upon “Magister Nunns”, increasingly frantic wails and twitchy percussion bears more than a passing resemblance to The Haxan Cloak. The decrepit-sounding “DMT Usher”, initially released on NZ label Samurai Horo, deploys a crippled breakbeat plus heart-stopping rotary blades FX to slash through its desiccated, Shackleton-style ambience. “Mildew Swoosh”, well, you can work this one out: splints associated with percussion lope and collapse into a breakbeat as waves of poisonous white noise gather and spread out. We’re in a flush of musicians attempting to recapture mental and spiritual impression of rave music, Fis seems obsessed with its physicality—even if there’s little else left. Corroded, mutated, sick, this is body and yes it lives, in its own way, in our.

Fade To Mind
12-inch/digital (out now)

Asma Maroof and Daniel Pineda follow up their contribution to Kelela’s Cut For Me mixtape with eight more examples of precisely why they’re one of 2013’s more fascinating propositions. As Fade to Mind’s resident shock troops, they make mutable, mutant grime which glints with shards of R& B, anchored by a slippery center of gravity given by a powerful low-end. That their particular meticulously layered records can sometimes feel unlovable is part of their futurist appeal. From the chorale synth, knackered piano and vrooom FX of “Vision of Completion” to the shuddering and dungeon-dank “Tumultuous” (which, displaying the duo’s stylistic pluralism of influences, features each nods to juke and Goa trance), Skycell sees Nguzunguzu are clearly so far ahead of the pack they can barely mask their contempt. Nevertheless, sometimes it’s the most insidious weapons which do the most damage plus “Foam Feathers” distills Nguzunguzu’s capacity pertaining to genuine creepiness into the meanest associated with elements: parping, clenched baseline, tin-pot percussion, and twinkling, incongruous chimes, all coalescing out of the sound associated with distant heavy industry. Now, can you even imagine the damage these might do in a club?

Objekt #3
12-inch (out now)

Objekt’s TJ Herz makes club music that will feels like it’s lurked so long within the cracks between techno and garage area it’s started to congeal there. This, the third in his series of self-released white labels, continues to mine that especially warped seam and just as “CLK Recovery” found its charge within the tension between warehouse techno’s relentless drive and intricate, atmospheric audio design, “Agnes Demise” employs violent dynamics to disorientate. Air piston and sucker punch drum pads stake out a monolithic two-step, as assorted clanks and clatters littering the negative space left in the backdraft. Like any power tool, “Agnes Demise” finds its power in the relentless force on a concentrated area—which only makes those moments when the percussive support implodes, leaving behind aftershocks of aural detritus, including a scrambled space transmission, even more disarming. “Fishbone” is less contorted, an exercise in streamlined electro pitted with cavernous sub-bass and passages of ambience. It’s up to you to take the respite while you can.

Pearson Sound
Hessle Audio
12-inch (out now)

Remember whenever dubstep blossomed into a period of unparalleled experimentalism only to settle into very trad house? It felt like heading from Chagall and Otto Dix one year to pastoral landscapes the following. Thankfully, Hessle Audio’s infrequent gears have remained beacons of creativity amidst the conservatism, their light shining all the brighter against the progressively irrelevance of labels like, say, Hotflush. As one of the founders of Hessle, David Kennedy aka Pearson Audio, keeps things ticking along with this launch. A-side “Lola” sees him thrash out there a grimier direction, the pointillist Zomby-esque synths and leaden golf swing an interesting set-up to B-side “Power Drumsss”. The latter, a flinty Hessle-style 808 tool, albeit with the angles slightly off. Lastly “Starburst” uses squealing stabs, distorted drums plus, eventually, a cloud of synth vapor which envelops the whole matter like a toxic sunrise over commercial wasteland. While not an quite essential release, it augers well to get a label who’s recent flush associated with releases have included Pev plus Kowton’s brilliantly scuzzed out “Raw Code” and the itchy industrialism associated with Joe’s “Slope”.

Renaissance Man
Black Ocean
12-inch/digital (out now)

Coming up amid the heady days of fidgit home (with the Dubsided and Made to Play credits to prove it) Renaissance Man know better than some that affecting seriousness in the club is a mug’s game. They also realize that the line between making club music that’s littered with clever- clever samples which is revolutionary and humorous plus coming off as a bit of a cringe is really fine. Now, with their newly minted Black Ocean label offering a home for hardcore-referencing, grime-y gradual boilers like “UFO Who Ur U” they’ve gone all out: sample Brad Pitt’s derided Chanel industrial, calling their mix for Dis “outsider Gabber”… The Internet, presumably, is certainly smiling inwardly to itself in any way this but, back in the real world, it’s sincerely difficult to hate. This is partly because of their production chops: Renaissance Man have been sonic innovators and even as “Kama (Dance with Me Into the New Age associated with Love)” references the acid synths—and the brand new age bollocks—of Sven Väth style trance, they temper it with heads-down techno fatalism, foreshadowed on the excellent January release Call2Call . As for “Journey”, with its galloping Plastikman chassis laden with granular texture—all knife clinks and bird tweets—and the foolhardy use of that sample it could, probably should, be considered a disaster. Yet somehow the feeling that the track, and the EP as a whole, is certainly coming from a genuine place cuts through the dense fug of naffness, or even worse, irony. ~

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