As one of the most anticipated reunions in dance music, underground legend Pangaea makes a long awaited return to the goliath Hessle Audio imprint for a top draw come back two tracker. On the A-side we hear the nostalgic throws of 'Bone Sucka' which is a homage to early breakbeat creation. Through a combination of mysterious atmospheric drones and smoothly sliced break patterns we are treated to something truly special. On the flip we are back in classic Pangaea territory, as beautifully crafted techy vibes return on 'Proxy'. This one is a rise and fall journey from start to finish, bringing together off the cuff piano riffs, pounding drum arrangements and subtle subs perfectly.
Kevin McAuley is certainly affiliated with a generation of pioneering UK Bass producers who have since moved into the techno realm. With previous releases on Hemlock, Hessle Audio and Hotflush, his origins have definitely remained a strong aspect of his style ever since. On the In Drum Play LP, he can be heard dabbling in obtuse and disjointed low end theories such as on "Bulb In Zinc" or "Let It In" while there are some inventive takes on techno; such as on the dynamic opener "Rotor Soap" or the adrenalised stomper "More Is More To Burn". For us, the highlights were "One By One" (where his take on breakbeat techno would make the likes Shed or Stenny stand up and notice) and the oddball body basher "Skips Desk".
Upon launching the Hadal label back in 2013, Pangaea described it as "a series of self-released records", rather than an imprint separate to the Hessle Audio operation founded with Ben UFO and Pearson Sound. Since, he's been as good as his word, using it to put out occasional 12" singles of his own. This third release in the series contains plenty of floor-friendly fare, beginning with the distorted, broken techno rhythms, druggy textures and intricate, chiming melodies of "Something In Your Eye". There's a more classic bruk feel to the heavy, dubwise swagger of "Stimulant Dub", while "New Shapes In The Air" skillfully combines a ludicrously weighty sub bassline with wonky electronics and metronomic techno rhythms. Finally, he closes proceedings with "They Buy Gold", a fittingly intense, acid-flecked techno stomper.
Having firmly established himself as Hessle Audio's go-to man for boisterous blends of UK bass music and techno, Kevin McAuley has finally been given a chance to commit his DJ skills to CD. His fabricLive mix is as entertaining as you'd expect, serving up a heavily percussive fusion of robust techno, wide-eyed, rush-inducing "moments", skittish post-dubstep darkness, and plenty of those dubstep/techno hybrids he's long embraced. There's enough blissful, spine tingling moments amongst the darkness (see Pearson Sound's impeccable "Starbust") to keep things fresh, a smattering of bona fide scene anthems (MGUN, Pev & Kowton), and a sprinkling of forgotten or little-known gems (a rare outing for Speedy J's 1992 Euro-techno classic "Something For Your Mind").
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