Son Raw refused to use the word Grimegaze in this post… but not in this byline.
Yesterday, I briefly touched on the defeatism of cleaned up, revivalist dance pop so it’s encouraging to hear a free project that flies in the face of that approach so thoroughly as to stand as an obvious counterpoint. London veteran Mumdance’s Twists and Turns mixtapes certainly makes no bones about its influences – Grime, Techno, Shoegaze, but there’s an obvious effort to transcend those previously established categories through combination and experimentation. Recently released highlights with fellow producer Logos such as In Reverse and Drum Boss prepared us for rough, technoid, drum machine workouts but what about that hazy, feedback laden intro? Not your typical dance music move but one that opens up new possibilities for the use of noise and texture in the dark Bass music hybrids currently taking root in the UK underground.
Elsewhere, it’s Mumdance’s dedication to the process that earns him points as he reconfigures Grime, a style of music dependent on digital computing, through analog drum machines and hardware samplers to an altogether disorienting effect. There’s something just slightly “off” about hearing this type of music processed through older equipment but the results manage to leapfrog both the majority of the industrial techno records coming out of England and the sloppier Eskimo tunes circulating on dubplate.
Abandoning both Garage swing and half-step stomp, the stiff, jacking rhythms throughout the mix and hot, over-driven percussion somehow connect post-Millenial London to pre-Labor Sheffield, recalling nothing less than the Bleep techno on early Warp Records. By the time the record ends with Wash’s wall of sound, you’re left with a surprisingly cohesive vision of electronic music that builds on the past without being beholden to it, a mercifully forward thinking vision at a time when music’s reactionary faction is growing bolder.