With Airhead, Ikonika, DFRNT
Airhead ‘Pyramid Lake/Black Ink’ (R&S)

Read Clash's review round up of some of the 12"s out in August with efforts from Airhead, DFRNT, Jacques Greene, Throwing Snow, Ikonika, Alfie, Bambounou, Citizen, Diamond Version and A Made Up Sound.

Airhead ‘Pyramid Lake/Black Ink’ (R&S)
Wrapped in all the spontaneity that old school grime relished comes Airhead’s latest entry for bass buffs R&S. Whether expertly weaving together oddball samples with dungeon deep bass on ‘Pyramid Lake’ or rolling through a percussive bubbler with eerie, uprising chords via ‘Black Ink’, the London resident hits the nail on the head with enviable precision.

DFRNT ‘El Spirito’ (ECHODUB)
The Scotsman eases us into the dawn of his next LP with a languid combo of B-siders and pillow-like, leading album track, ‘El Spirito’. All three ingeniously brushed with tactful nuances of airy chords, finessed beat shuffles and handpicked drifting vocals. Be careful not to be caught in the clouds with this one.

Jacques Greene ‘Ready’ (3024)
A dark, brooding effort from the promising Montrealian hybrid-house producer on Martyn’s stellar label. ‘Ready’ builds into twisted, lasered dub-house, sounding not unlike an updated Leftfield. ‘Prism’ explores nostalgic electro-house and ‘Dakou’ is excellent shuffling, ghostly-house. Call it dungeon-step if you like, or just call it stylish and bang-on.

Throwing Snow ‘Clamour’ (SNOWFALL)
Highly atmospheric and engulfing sounds from Ross Tones on his newly launched label. ‘Clamor’ melts ambiently along before striking with a jittered beat, offset by the sliced rhythmical hop of ‘Brook’ (which Gold Panda remixes with a floaty electronica wash) and the orchestral/juke jitter of ‘Perca’. Intelligent, captivating stuff.

Ikonika ‘I Make Lists’ (HUM & BUZZ)
A beautifully varied package from the returning Ikonika, which sees her mixing things up a treat. ‘I Make Lists’ sounds like Rustie and HudMo put through a huge industrial shredder, ‘Take Pictures’ is evil acid house, and there’s even few upbeat clubbier tracks - a curveball to the delicious industrial ethos.

Alfie ‘Uncontrollably Numb/About Midday’ (BLAH BLAH BLAH)
When techno was invented Alfie wasn’t even born. But that hasn’t stopped the seventeen-year-old from dropping two slices of austere deepness onto Blah Blah Blah. Saying that, his age might explain why it’s more a nod to the robust, bass-driven house of Julio Bashmore, Breach and Eats Everything than purely a tribute to Model 500 or Carl Craig.

Bambounou ‘Night’ (CLEKCLEKBOOM)
French bass artist Bambounou doesn’t mess around on his new cut for ClekClekBoom. ‘Night’ is all about the rave with an ecstatic female vocal sample, a wicked two-step skip and a surging ghetto bassline so ill it needs a doctor, while ‘Brawl’ is jolty footwork with some lush C-town chords thrown in.

Citizen ‘Room Service’ (LOVE FEVER RECORDS)
Love Fever stay true to the spirit of their sordid underground parties with a new release from Citizen. Evoking the early morning sleaze of their notorious parties, ‘Room Service’ hears soulful vocals, swinging bodytonic grooves and deep bass-stabs amongst the smoky air and dim red lighting. Jimmy Edgar, purveyor of the ultimate twisted sleaze on the remix too.

Diamond Version ‘Technology At The Speed Of Life’/’Empowering Change’ (MUTE)
Abrasive industrial electro from Raster Noton associates Byetone and Alva Noto in their new collaborative project, Diamond Version. Their rasping digital precision is a definite assault on the senses, but still, unbelievably, more dancefloor-focused than both of their superlative solo works. Hardcore rhythmic direction with a synthetic Drexciyan swing.

A Made Up Sound ‘Malfunctions’ (50 WEAPONS)
A double-headed dose of signature warehouse precision from the producer otherwise known as 2562. Revealing two sides to one story, ‘Adjust’ is a brittle, frenzied techno affair backed with driving rhythms and a completely off-the-rails attitude, meanwhile ‘Despair’ is equally as brittle and frenzied, yet more abstract in its depth.

Words by by Errol Anderson, Adam Saville, Tristan Parker and Lauren Martin.


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