Fabric have an incredible looking Friday night coming up soon, and we have a pair of tickets to give away to it, as well as Fabric mix CDs from Pearson Sound and Ben UFO.
Hessle Audio regular Elgato is the latest producer to start his own label, kicking off with the much sought after “Dunkel Jam”.
Peverelist and Kowton have individually been responsible for some of the most inventive dance music to come out of Bristol in recent times; though both have been creating genetic hybrids of dubstep, garage and grime for longer than the term “bass music” has existed, both seem to have hit a creative stride of late thanks to the Livity Sound label they run with Asusu and its accompanying live show. Like many artists who free themselves up by striking out on their own with a label that requires little more than a short run of vinyl and a hand stamp, it seems to have teased the most exciting material out of the pair.
Monochrone strobes sync perfectly with the typically uncompromising slab of slumped techno that is Bandshell’s “Landfill”.
Making your debut appearance on Hessle Audio ensures a certain degree of attention is always going to be thrown your way, but what was truly compelling about Bandshell’s three track Dust March release from last year was the stifling atmosphere and sense of sinking paranoia across each differing track. This is evidently an approach the producer is looking to explore further with “Landfill”, taken from the forthcoming Caustic View EP; its release which marks the third emission from the increasingly interesting Mute sub-label Liberation Technologies, who came to life last year with releases from Laurel Halo side-project King Felix and the previously defunct Regis and Surgeon project British Murder Boys.
Video directed by Nic Hamilton
Bristol duo Peverelist and Kowton combine on the first Hessle Audio release of 2013.
Hessle Audio’s Ben UFO will helm the 67th entry in the Fabriclive series, with an expectedly wide-ranging mix featuring tracks from the likes of Blawan, DJ Sotofett, Delroy Edwards and Pangaea.
It seems that despite his change in name from Ramadanman to Pearson Sound, David Kennedy has been working with much the same formula for some time now. Whether it’s “Work Them” or “Glut” as Ramadanman, “Stifle” or “Blanked” as Pearson Sound, it seems like Kennedy had worked out a comfortable palette of sounds on which to draw on – 808s, blasts of grimy bass, clipped vocals, hanging chords – and although nobody could argue about the power of these tracks on a dancefloor, it was obvious that some kind of change was badly needed, especially given how many of his peers (Untold, Pangaea, Cosmin TRG) have gone on to do such diverse things with such great success. Coming from a scene that prides itself on constantly thinking outside the box, it seemed odd that one of its progenitors would have remained at such an impasse. The recent “Untitled” was in interesting diversion, but it was clear that it wasn’t where Kennedy was heading next.
The enigmatic Hessle Audio producer known only as Joe will return with his first material of 2012 with a single for Untold’s Hemlock Recordings.
Hessle Audio lynchpin Pangaea will return to the label with an eight track, double EP, entitled Release.
Hessle Audio have slipped out details of their next release, a three track EP from label co-owner Pearson Sound.
While the date may change every year, it’s always easy to sense the lead-in to the annual Freerotation festival. Fevered anticipation ripples out through the niche corners of the house and techno fraternity, which in the nature of these times manifests itself in impassioned status updates, gloating tweets and lots of “look forward to seeing you!” posts between friends, artists and fans. This convivial atmosphere speaks volumes for the impact Freerotation has had in dulling the barriers between performer and punter in a small sector of electronic music, providing a utopian bubble where everyone can truly feel as one.
It’s a genuinely rare thing for a label to flip everything you thought you knew about it on its head and make you sit bolt upright with the announcement of each release – not through the sheer weight of hype but simply because you know that what you’re getting is likely to be a totally unexpected quantity.
Hessle Audio have just announced their next release, a debut 12″ from Bandshell.
While releasing a record on Hessle Audio arguably carries an amount of kudos that should guarantee an artist’s success, Elgato, whose debut came out on the label in October 2010, has never really received the attention he’s rightfully deserved. Part of that is because he’s only released three tracks until now, but one suspects that it’s perhaps because his music is almost completely at odds with the scene that Hessle has helped establish. The one thing that seems to connect the various strands of bass are their utilisation of tempos from 128-140bpm – speeds which don’t exactly lend themselves to warm up music. As a result, the closer “bass music” heads towards 120bpm to fill those early hours of the night, the more it simply becomes “house music”, or an insipid broken-beat variant thereof that often lacks the defining characteristic of its name: bass.
So we’ve spent a large portion of this week gazing admiringly at the vinyl edition of the new Hessle Audio compilation 116 & Rising. It’s a Hessle release so you know the standard of music is going to be high – featuring exclusive material from label regulars such as Untold, James Blake, Blawan and Cosmin TRG along with equally fresh Hessle debuts from the likes of Addison Groove and D1.
It’s the work that’s gone into the presentation that has further impressed us though, with the vinyl edition featuring the twelve new and exclusive tracks from the release spread across three twelve inches, housed in a gatefold sleeve designed by Will Bankhead of Trilogy Tapes fame. Hessle have also sneaked in all tracks from the compilation on two CDs too.
When you digest all of the above it’s no surprise that Ben UFO, one third of the Hessle Audio decision making team, is a big fan of vinyl – the above picture is a mighty clue too! Thus we were very keen to get an insight into which records are doing it for Ben right now and why, and we’re suitably impressed with his choices.
At a time when music critics and fans alike are more than happy to endlessly debate what the next stage of dubstep’s progression should be called, Hessle Audio present 116 & Rising – a rich demonstration of how the label has progressed over the past four years and an exciting portent of where they might go in the future. Whichever format you choose to sink into, when you come out the other side you can’t help but be fully impressed.
As anyone who has followed the label’s progression will attest, it’s natural that the triple vinyl edition contains the most swagger, with the design work from regular collaborator Will Bankhead looking stunning across the gatefold sleeve and the twelve new and exclusive tracks spread across three slabs of vinyl, two to a side. Furthermore the inclusion in this edition of all 24 tracks on CD makes it the smart choice to indulge in.
If you can see past the temptation to merely sit and admire the artwork and actually bask in the music on offer, you will be richly rewarded with an array of brilliant material from the Hessle camp. Mainstays such as Elgato, Untold and James Blake naturally feature alongside contributions from the two thirds of the Hessle Audio decision-making team that produce. Flexing their status at the top of the game, Hessle can also call on new tracks from Addison Groove, Peverelist and D1, which is clearly a move to show which of their contemporaries has helped to shape the direction of the label since it launched in 2007.
So far so impressive, but how does the actual music sound? It surpasses expectation and has you gripped from the moment Elgato’s “Music (Body Mix)” starts. Along the way Blawan serves further notice that he’s got the best drum flex in the game on “Potchla Vee” which might just work in the rattle of a can of spray paint. Sitting next to this is “Stifle”, the one Pearson Sound submission, which sounds like a 23rd century twist on “Din Da Da”. Fans of David Kennedy are well stocked though, as he graces 116 & Rising with no less than three Ramadanman productions – perhaps finally putting this alias to bed?
Elsewhere, Cosmin TRG’s “Bijoux” is every bit as impressive as the four tracks that made up A Universal Crush, his EP for the Rush Hour Direct Current series (this reviewers favourite release of 2011 so far), whilst Joe invokes the spirit of West London circa 2001 on the tinny broken sensation of “Twice”. Amidst such celebrated company, Addison Groove might just steal the show on “Fuk Da 101” which combines dexterous sampling of urgent vocals with a cacophony of crazed percussive touches.
More words could be said on the music that features on the second CD but followers of Hessle Audio will be familiar with the brilliance of tracks such as “Fram”, “Rut” and Martyn’s ever excellent remix of TRG’s “Broken Heart” and happy to have them on CD for the first time, whilst late comers will delight in experiencing these and the nine other inclusions for the first time. With such a detailed musical representation of the label’s past, present and future, you might wonder why there was no thought given to the inclusion of sleeve notes. However the music is strong enough to speak for itself, and perhaps enough people spend far too much column space discussing their music anyway?