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30 May 11
UK Funky/UK Garage
Review: Scottish label Fortified Audio is the latest home to Atlanta producer Distal, a man who's been prolific over the last 12 months with a host of remixes and originals - most notably "Grape Donut" which appeared on Soul Jazz's huge Future Bass compilation. Here, Detroit tech rubs shoulders with tropical funky on tunes like the effervescent title track, with its wayward and off-kilter strings proving to be a real highlight, alongside the minimal funk of "Love A La Venturo". Things get taken into hyper mode though for "Africa To Mars", with astral pads and relentless rhythms marking it out as an early favourite, as well as the soft dub of "Novocaine Blonde" which recalls his previous footwerk excursion, "Coke Bottle".
22 Aug 11
Review: The proof that dubstep has become a truly global sound can he heard on the title track of Distal's Tectonic debut. Instead of lurching basslines, the US producer uses glitchy, broken rhythms that weave their way in and out of gained and distorted happy-hardcore style beats. These unlikely elements provide the backing for the kind of mournful, eerie melodies that characterised Aphex Twin's early ambient works. Just to further confuse matters, "French Science" sees Distal opt for a more laid back approach, with tantalising melodies unfolding over inviting claps and a languid, stop-start groove. Figuring out where this release will lead dubstep is a great part of its charm.
01 May 12
UK Funky/UK Garage
Review: Atlanta's Distal continues to shine brightly, with this new release on Sinden's Grizzly label kicking heavily thanks to the Dirty South acapella loopin' of "Boss Of The South" and the excellent ghetto 808-frenzy of "Coke Bottle". Sinden himself smoothes out "Boss Of The South" on his mix, while Capracara's South of Heaven remix of the same track is a wildly experimental and very awesome woozy-house revisit that's simply gushing with misty rave goodness.
30 Apr 12
Played by: Ennio Styles (Stylin Radio Show), Hxdb, DJ Cure (Aufect Recordings), Bunny On Acid, Giovanni Pasquariello
Review: Amid much anticipation, Distal's album crash lands on Tectonic in a myriad of electronic styles all thoroughly typical of the plucky Atlantan. There's raw juke-isms on "Preach On Hustle", where the Chicago style gets slowed down and spread out, while on "Around The Fire" you'll find a swung techno framework full of alluring melodies just under the surface. There's melodica-baiting dubstep on "Rattlesnake", while electro gets pitched down for the peak time banger "House Party Five". Everywhere you turn, Distal's supremely developed production stands out, whatever vibe he's turning his hand to. In the end, that skill becomes the glue that holds this free ranging album together.
02 Jan 12
UK Funky/UK Garage
Played by: Chrissy Murderbot, Juno Recommends Uk Funky/Garage, Dev79, Hxdb, Thrills, Mike Hindle - Immersed Audio
Review: After a strong 2011, Distal comes back with a new EP on Seclusiasis, proving his worth as an ambiguous producer comfortable with deploying those 'chainsaw' synth moments for dramatic effect but not relying on them for his sole method of expression. "Eel" shudders with an electro militancy, slamming the beats down hard but never reverting to obvious rave signifiers. "Kurgan" is more sly in its approach, creeping to life on a half-time beat and sounding positively restrained before the buzz saw screech goes off, only to duel with dub techno chords further in. Convoluted it may sound, but he nails his stylistic straddling perfectly.
15 Mar 11
UK Funky/UK Garage
Review: Atlanta's Distal drops a pair of future-bass winners on the Car Crash Set label, with the title tune leaning heavily on the techno side with a signature shifting arpeggio acting as a mainstay while the beats shift between moody half-step and full-on tech-stomp. In a Pearson Sound-style, "We Are VCR" is a chilly 808 'n' claps fest, topped off with some deliriously wonked-out leads twisting away in the background.
26 Mar 13
Review: Continuing his adventures into rough and ready hyper-modern rave business spinning off of the bass music zeitgeist, Distal comes bowling up to Lucky Beard with this rowdy selection of party smashers. "Hard House Cheer Squad" brings in all manner of dutty ass wiggling tropes, from trap drums to jungle breaks, while the melodies peal out in technicolour tones and the vocals come hopping in from all angles. "Diamond Leather Shock" is a more heads down affair that pushes the musicality to one side and focuses on intense drum programming and sample triggering in a frenzied attack on the senses. Bringing a different vibe altogether, "Chucky Saturn" strips everything back and focuses on a more ambient tone with just a smattering of the usual Distal drums, synths and samples compared to the normal overload.
18 Dec 12
Review: Atlanta's Distal caps off a stellar year with a release from the ever on point Trouble & Bass imprint. The title track features frenetic whip crack footwork mechanics bolted onto high-pressure bass, while "Green Lantern" sees the producer experiment with dirty Southern hip-hop styles, as triumphant horn solos are combined with monstrously detuned vocals, while "Cheery Red" does the same, combining a brittle 808 flex and organic percussion with its sliced up vocal collage. Finally, star of the contemporary ballroom scene MikeQ steps up to remix "Green Lantern", transforming the trap style original into a linear house banger, filled with razor sharp vocal delivery and ravey house stabs.