Son Raw: Pinch emerges from the shadows

Yo Dawg, Son Raw heard you like mixes so he found a new mix to promote that new mix. In a year where electronic music enthusiasts had to deal with the ignorant and near-pedophilic youth-obsessions of...
By    January 10, 2012

Yo Dawg, Son Raw heard you like mixes so he found a new mix to promote that new mix.

In a year where electronic music enthusiasts had to deal with the ignorant and near-pedophilic youth-obsessions of bloated, aging leeches that pass as “music journalists,” watching them desperately try to save their vanishing print-media careers by jumping on “the dubstep thing” – Pinch and Shackleton was a shining light. Easily the best bass music release of the year, it was dark, creative, well produced and the exact opposite of what caught the US media’s attention in regards to rave culture. I won’t say it again – buy this record, preferably on wax.

While Shackleton has since retreated to what I imagine to be a desolate warehouse (read: nice apartment) on the outskirts of Berlin to create new soundscapes of terror, Pinch has taken no such break. Though not always mentioned alongside Dubstep’s foundational figures, Pinch and his Tectonic label stand as some of the first institutions outside of London to recognize the potential within the sound, perfecting a blend of swing, space and bass while most bloggers were still talking about micro-house. Though his output diminished in the wake of his fantastic solo debut Underwater Dancehall, it seems as if Pinch and Shackleton will be a springboard for new material rather than an outlier and we the listening audience are all the better for it as his mix for the long running Fabriclive series demonstrates.

Though one could probably divide Fabriclive61 into loosely grouped sections based on genre, that would be missing the point. Rather than piece together a series of techno, house or Dubstep anthems, this all-wax set manages the rare feat of working on tone and mood alone. A sinister underworld exploration, it’s the sort of CD that you can throw on while working on an extended term paper only to realize you’ve gone through it thrice without noticing – and not just because it’s constructed to play as a continuous loop. Bar a few “big tunes” by Joy O and Addison Groove, it’s refreshingly free of XLR8R bait and stands as a singular expression of what Dubstep can be when divorced from the hype: a dark, uncompromising yet unpretentious hour of music full of the badman attitude lacking from the glut of bass-house giveaways and haircut Dubstep bands.

Oh and he dropped a completely separate FREE mix to promote the CD as well. That one’s “mostly techno white labels” and while lacking the structure and gravitas of his official one, it still beats your average Mixcloud release by a comfortable margin. Here’s hoping that his Deleted Scenes project with Distance is ready come year-end time.

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