June 15, 2010

Sach O bumps too many mixes

We’ve chilled out on the links to Fact Magazine’s excellent bi-weekly mixes because frankly, those are some of the most consistently entertaining free doses of music out there and you should be checking em’ out without our cosign anyways. The bookmark folder is your friend. Rarely wandering into the sort of material best described by Prodigy as “crazy space shit that don’t make no sense,” FACT are better than most at shining light on quality EDM without the zealously populist or elitist ideology that seems to possess techno nerds whenever placed in front of a keyboard. All back slapping aside, they’ve had an exceptionally dope week and I’d be remiss not to give them a nod of approval and a hearty golf-clap for their last three offerings.


First up, Hyperdub founder, sonic warfare expert and seeming heir to EL-P’s title as “label head I’d most like to hang out with,” Kode9 hits us with a quick 30 minute burst of old-school Jungle culled from that genre’s golden years of 94-96. As a committed fan of THC and all things laid back, I can’t say that Jungle occupies an exceptionally large space in my record collection. The fact that I came of age when it was mutating into the senselessly aggravating white rage of Drum N Bass didn’t help endear me to the genre and talking to glassy-eyed speed head girls at raves about the virtues of “original jungle,” while entertaining, only made matters worse. It’s hard to argue with the selection here though: dusty breaks of the Hip-Hop sort chopped at hyperspeed with jazzy chords and the occasional frenetic R&B vocal or looped rap line. Think Temple of Boom era Muggs production with drums twice as fast. Admittedly, there’s nothing new for fans of the genre but for those who always wondered what was going on in England while we were rocking hoodies and timbs, or those looking for the occasional adrenaline rush, this is a great place to start. Oh, there’s also the above tune made out of Wu-Tang samples.

Addison Groove (AKA Headhunter)‘s mix starts a little slower, covers wider territory but ultimately proves to be just as exciting. Opening with oldschool electro before progressively speeding up into Funky, it really hits its stride in its middle section when the mix begins to explore London’s recent forays into Chicago Juke music. Latching onto the percussive energy and rawness of ghetto house but mostly abandoning the booty-shake chants in favor of clipped, abstract vocal samples, this early mutation is, for lack of a better term, vital as fuck. There’s definitely something exciting going on here, functional music suddenly morphing into something very, very different. It’s a work in progress; an idea so new that only a few DJs are producing it and the rest of the mix subsequently relies on (excellent!) American imports from luminaries such as DJ Rashad. Still, it’s the British originals that have got me excited: these guys turned Garage into Burial; God knows what they can transform Juke into.

Finally, Autonomic duo Instra:Mental deliver today’s mix which serves as an interesting link between London’s past and future music. Nominally a Drum & Bass act, Instra:Mental (along with partner D-Bridge) have been responsible for slowing the genre down, smartening it up and generally giving it a new lease on life after years of punishing clown step. Their Fabriclive entry stands as one of the best mixes of the year so far, combining jittery percussion with downtempo atmospherics to create an ambiance better fit for long drives down dark roads and midnight encounters than any dance floor action. Their FACT mix is a little more direct and ranges from the duo’s own experimental tracks to techno influenced rollers to pure dubstep in the form of a couple of Skream tracks. Their secret is to take the “anything goes” attitude currently sweeping bass music while keeping things dark and moody rather than goofy and eclectic. Landing somewhere between the first mixes’ Jungle, Addison’s Juke and a comfortable 80-90BPM ranged favored by Hip-Hop and LA’s Low End Theorists, I’d expect big things from these guys whether “Autonomic” catches on as a genre or not.

MP3: Kode9 – FACT 156 Mix
MP3: Addison Groove – FACT 157 Mix
MP3: Instra:Mental – FACT 158 Mix

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