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Bass - Single Reviews - 571

Singles - Bass - Issue 571

Gila

Pick Six EP

Deviation

8.5
Finally, the day hath dawned when Benjamin Benstead’s Deviation empire starts releasing records... and although the first thing I muster might be a smug ‘what took him so long?’, the second is a grunt of recognition: dude was probably waiting for something to slap his shit the same way this EP from Denver native Gila does. 'Pick Six' is a slew of three cold, icy hip-hop instrumentals cut loud for the club and three spacey wanderings.

Jikuroux

'Cradle Bay EP'

Decisions

8.5
There’s a welcome grandeur to Jikuroux’s melody on her new EP’s title track that is a little betrayed by the drum work. At the one-minute-twenty mark that succinct three-note Peverelist-esque riff comes in and gives the synth stabs a supple counterpoint that the snare hits all but eclipse. ‘Cracked’ illustrates the exact opposite aspect of my gripe perfectly, the drums back off and let that melody do all the heavy lifting. Devil mix me and it’d be a 9.5/10.

CRIMES!

'Lords EP'

20/20 LDN

7.0
The Portland based CRIMES! contributes music to the 20/20 LDN imprint for the first time and, again, that quality label association means it comes with some pretty lofty expectations that are hard to live up to. ‘Karma’ is definitely an absolute jam but ‘Lords’ and ‘Videowarp’ might just be a little too bombastic. Trying to balance a ton of these overly synthetic, laser-powered bass riffs with serene chords leaves very little sense of space.

Batu

'Marius EP'

Hessle Audio

9.0
Having gone out on a limb in support of Batu’s production work on this page several times before, it’s a very sweet and just feeling to be able to report that his debut for the lauded Hessle Audio label is as singular and as rounded as all of you hoped it might be. ‘Off Court’’s percussion sounds like it’s submerged in oil, ‘Nosema’ is a flat-footed pounder of a stepper and ‘Marius’ is sheer and clinical tech.

Akkord

'RCVR/XMTR'

Houndstooth

8.0
Houndstooth’s production leviathans Akkord return with two new drilled out cuts that build on the jungle promise hinted at in some of their earlier work. ‘RCVR’ (or receiver if you’re a fan of vowels) is a fucking gutsy growl of breakbeats set atop clouds of distortion and drone. There’s no real semblance of melody on B-side ‘XMTR’ (transmitter) either, unless you count the different pitchings of the choked bass noise, which I don’t, because I’m not that petty.

Herva

'Smania'

All City

5.5
If you’ve ever started a review with words to the effect of “I had to go back and check it wasn’t two things playing simultaneously” I feel bad for you, son. But go listen to Herva’s latest six-track mini LP on All City and then come back to me. Bemusing isn’t really the word. The thing seems to stutter, stunt and shimmer at will, without any concern for structure or quantizing. Smania's actually impossible to judge but it is oddly fascinating.

Etch

'Synapse Cluster'

Gully

8.5
It’s already obvious that Etch is a bit of a don when it comes to sampling and re-programming drums, he’s proved that time and again already, but these latest two cuts on Gully Records really do channel a bastardized version of Shadow. On ‘Synapse Cluster’ it’s all heavy stuttering drum lines full of unpredictable fills and rattles whereas ‘Labyrinthian Contours’ devolves itself from garage to hip-hop to edit heavy space funk in three majestic parts.

Lyfeforms

'Things Betwixt EP'

Keysound Recordings

7.5
Lyfeform’s 'Things Betwixt EP' stands out from the current glut of hard-edged, jungle-inspired, drone-heavy releases like a sunny day might in between two weeks of solid rain. Actually, that’s probably just a reflection of my promo listening habits but his cuts like ‘Dead Angel’ and ‘Bright Night’ show the same kind of individual promise as early E.M.M.A. releases did — all cheap synthesizer sounds, overlapping chords and hyper-aggressive arpeggios.