Review: Dissident lives on! Well, kind of. Andy Blake's cult imprint shut up shop in 2009, but returns here with a digital compilation of Dissident gems plus two cheeky, previously unreleased Juno Download exclusives. Blake has secured a reputation as a no-nonsense individual with an encyclopedic knowledge of electronic music, and his selections here form a soundtrack of sorts to his ongoing World Unknown parties in Brixton, South London. As well as previously hard-to-find gems from Photonz, Naum Gabo and Blake himself among others, you'll also find a brand new version of the killer mind-warp techno of "Colombia No1". The second previously unreleased track is from Blake's new label Cave Paintings, which carries an ethos of raw, stripped back house sounds recorded in the old school fashion (analogue gear, one take). Serious tuneage here folks.
Review: It's a case of jack to the old school as the first track on this EP from the sadl;y defunct Dissident takes its cues from Chicago house. Unsurprisingly, it's not a bland tribute track and the gurgling acid line rides a brittle percussive rhythm and is subjected to a series of irresistible tweaks, twists and turns. In any event, it sounds like the producer responsible for the project has also focused their attention on the present. The second track is a slinky bass-heavy groove that stops and starts, powered all the time by brittle percussive. Like a mixture of Detroit minimalism and Frozen Border-style techno anonymity, it provides a new spin on existing narratives and makes the question about who is behind the project seem like a small consideration. Highly recommended.
Review: If, like us, you're still getting pain pangs from Dissident withdrawal symptoms, the recent spate of digital reissues from Andy Blake's long-gone label offers some relief. The latest cut to get dusted down and re-released is "The Bounce", the seventh track from Blake's own Control Voltage project. Despite its vintage - it originally appeared way back in 2008 - "The Bounce" has lost none of its power. Like much of Blake's work since - and the musical direction of his World Unknown night and label - it offers an uncompromising, twisted take on late night acid house. Its energy and ragged, analogue sound recall not only Phuture 303 and Virgo Four, but also the darker fringes of Detroit techno.
Review: Some classic Dissident (R.I.P) tackle available digitally for the first time. Clocking in at just over 11 minutes, it's fair to say that Drumstep is based on epic proportions. The track starts off in an unassuming manner, with hissing percussion lapping up against a gently wobbling bass. Snares flail and hats hiss as de Ritmos gradually adds more detail to the groove, but the killer element is the spaced out vocal sample that hangs over the bass and percussive parts. Like the twist at the end of a Coen brothers' movie, it lends Drumstep a strangely elusively feeling and calls to mind the early noughties minimal house experiments of Ricardo Villalobos and Farben. Long live Dissident!
Review: New on California's Cordovan label, GSUB's "Hudu" is a sleek UKF/grime banger that will seriously get under your skin despite its relative simplicity. After introducing itself with some tropical snares and tight bass hits, it breaks into a zombified Eastern horn riff which sets about transforming the tune. With the percussion handled just right with Roska-esque clarity, there's little not to love about the original, radio mix and dub versions that make up this very tasty single.