Drum'n'bass continuum tonight... whether dubstep, grime, techno or idm, that's where we're at. RIP UK.
Loefah - I LITERALLY HATE YOUR FACE SO MUCH [Loefah Bandcamp]
I played a new track from dubstep don Loefah a few weeks ago, as he’s started dropping tunes on his Bandcamp. This one came out the day after the utterly dire UK election, and its artwork is a distorted picture of Boris Johnson’s face. “I LITERALLY HATE YOUR FACE SO MUCH” doesn’t mince words, and the military bleeps’n’bass along with almost-audible angry crowd noise are an appropriately dark response to dark times.
JXTPS - Become Nothing [Voodoo Down Records]
Melbourne producer Luc P is JXTPS, pronounced “Juxtapose”. As well as Juxtapose, he can be found releasing music as Wu Kush, JDJX, and Sjazd, ranging from house & electro to techno, breaks and more experimental styles. You won’t hear his jazz training on this track, but the bass-heavy techno keeps on chopping into jungle breaks, which is a pretty strong hint for what’s to come on a lot of tonight’s show! Also halfway through some gorgeous uplifting pads slowly crescendo over the next few minutes and take the track out – quite a beautiful rave ascent.
Raime - Ripli [Raime Records]Raime - Stammer [Blackest Ever Black]Yally - Dread Risk [Diagonal Records]Raime - Belly [Raime Records]
Anyway, that’s enough joy. London duo Raime have mined postpunk, psych, grime and drum’n’bass to create their very idiosyncratic, minimalist sound. For years their music was one of the key definers of Blackest Ever Black’s sound, but recent releases have been on their own label. Their latest EP sees them extending into footwork’s scrabbling beat structures, with jungle & grime’s bassweight and their signature vocal irruptions well and truly in place.
As we have jungle/drum’n’bass rolling through much of tonight’s playlist, I dropped their most junglist, and least disjointed, tune in the middle, from a 12” released in 2017 under the pseudonym Yally.
Sunken Foal - Craikwerk [Countersunk]Sunken Foal - Schwefelhaus [Countersunk]
Dublin musician Dunk Murphy’s music has been a fixture on Utility Fog playlists for many years. His first solo EP as Sunken Foal came out on Planet µ in 2008, but his duo Ambulance released a legendary album on the same label the year UFog started, 2003. The µ connection could indicate idm, and it does, but it’s a very emotive approach to complex electronic programming and stunning melodies, with very unusual, jazz & folk-derived harmonic progressions alongside incredible skill at granular processing and all forms of electronic synthesis, alongside acoustic guitar, piano and other “real” instrumentation, and along the way plenty of vocals. Last week and this week he released two albums’ worth of music created on the titular Nord Modular G1 (the title is punning French for The Sweet North), with a few extra outboard effects. The glitchy textures, beats and melodic content (and a parping acid funk) are all there.
Quirke - Fluorescent Phlegm [Whities/Bandcamp]Quirke - Se Seven 75 [Whities/Bandcamp]Quirke - e1x [Quirke Bandcamp]
London producer Josh Quirke has a few EPs to his name over the last 5 years, and a bunch of cool tracks up on his Bandcamp, including a few from this year which went up in the lead-up to his excellent debut album proper which just dropped on the versatile, excellent Whities label. The easiest touchpoint is idm – there’s plenty of drill’n’bassy madness here, and a la Aphex Twin and Clark there’s also a few lovely piano numbers – I really like how the pretty pianisms are subsumed under creepy slow-growing noise in the delightfully titled “Fluorescent Phlegm”. The beat-based numbers have floating melodies that definitely draw on the '90s heritage of Aphex, Autechre, Boards of Canada et al. In any case, definitely a producer to watch! (As is anybody Whities release, it must be said).
dgoHn - Lost and Found [Astrophonica]dgoHn - Dolorous Dick'ead [Astrophonica]
John Cunnane’s moniker dgoHn is meant to be produced like his first name, and that weird quirk is exemplary of the kind of music he likes to make. Although there are connections to idm – his duo with fellow producer Macc was released on Rephlex some years ago – he leans a bit closer to the dancefloor as a main proponent of the “drumfunk” subgenre which pulled the experimental end of jungle/drum’n’bass away from breakcore’s testosterone into a more jazzy, syncopated approach to drum programming. It’s really nice seeing his latest EP released by Fracture’s Astrophonica label. Junglist 4 lyfe!
J Majik - The Lost Tribe [fabric records]
For about 6-7 years now Houndstooth has operated their label out of London’s Fabric nightclub, releasing a range of club musics and idm styles. In 2016 when the club was threatened with closure they released the #saveFabric compilation. Now the club itself is turning 20, and they have released their 20 years of fabric compilation on their own Fabric Records, which has also released their much-loved DJ mix series among other things. As expected for a club which is gregarious in what it hosts, there’s a range of club styles across its 2 CDs, but there’s a nice drum’n’bass segment in there including an exclusive track from jungle legend (still at it today) J Majik – typical mashed breaks, bass drops and a lightness of touch that’s very much his signature.
L U C Y - About Her [Illegal Data]AYA - I Will Not Come At Your Beck And Call I Am At Home Preemptively Mashing Up The Dance That Is Where I Am [Illegal Data]
Another nightclub compilation. Bristol nightclub Illegal Data is co-run by Ne$$ and Giant Swan member Mun Sing. Their new compilation is about half experimental r’n’b / electronic pop and half deconstructed club music from Bristol and further afield. L U C Y is not the male Italian techno producer who uses the female pseudonym (with no spaces); she produces bass and techno, but here is in fine lightfooted jungle form. Manchester artist AYA Sinclair has previously appeared on this show under the name LOFT, and has an attachment to jungle breaks in amongst her deconstructed everything. Both artists deliver in spades.
Rognvald - Xwife (Flexy) [Love Love Records]Rognvald - Shadowphlex [Love Love Records]
Scottish producer Richard Wilson also releases acid under the questionable alias Beatwife, but as Rognvald has taken the acid tendencies into splattered drill'n'bass territory for Love Love Records. Latest album Xwife is his best expression of the junglist persona yet, and like one of his recent EPs has some interesting abstract takes on post-junglism too, such as "Shadowphlex", whic removes the beats and leaves the throbbing bass and floating pads, somehow retaining the menace...
Tony Dupé - leave [Tony Dupé Bandcamp]Tony Dupé - move [Tony Dupé Bandcamp]
Australian producer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Tony Dupé has shaped an impressive range of Australian music over the past couple of decades, including indie artists like Jamie Hutchings, Holly Throsby and others. His solo albums as Saddleback, on Preservation, are beloved for their unusual approach to postrock or something like folktronica – studio-constructed, with organic, live instruments and lots of humanity. Full disclosure, I played cello on the Saddleback albums and lots of his other productions while he lived in Sydney and the South Coast, but he's been in Melbourne for some time now. He always loved leaving the window open and letting the birds and nature sounds accompany the music, and here this has become an integral part of the music. A few years ago he spent nearly a week alone at an old stone church near the desert in rural Victoria. He mic'd up the space inside and out, and birds and air accompanied his fitful, judicious playing. It's calming, beautiful stuff.
This is an Australian track.
This is a local artist.