Short Circuits 10 - By Volume

Got our poster on her wall so every boy that she brings back will see my best side. Johnny Foreigner - Stop Talking About Ghosts
kelela

Short Circuits 10

Kelela, Mount Kimbie, and a flood of remixes? It's like Tayyab never left. Author: on November 6, 2013
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Kelela Floor Show (Fade To Mind, 2013)

During her interviews, Kelela tried to convey what her CUT 4 ME mixtape was about using analogies like ‘Brandy but weirder’ and concepts such as remixes of tracks actually being the original track in question. She happened upon Fade To Mind, across-the-pond sister-label of Night Slugs, where she grasped the opportunity to pick beats from the labels’ extensive, eccentric and emphatic roster. “Floor Show” appears three tracks in, led by Girl Unit’s typically retro-futuristic bass and an almost-oriental synth melody for the song’s calling card. Kelela’s R’n’B vocals might have been just as mesmerising over a Darkchild beat but hearing a mesh like this is much more interesting. The chorus does all that could be asked of it, though the first time it hits there’s a moment where Kelela’s voice comes isolated but for the drums, “Acting like you don’t know, putting on a floor show.” Echoed voices and muffled drums kick back into the outro as Kelela starts to run away with it a bit, sensuality sharpened into a cold edge that struts with confidence more than arrogance. Here is when you question whether the mixtape is too good to be true – and the entire thing is worth some longer-term rotation. “Floor Show” is simply one of the many tracks I keep coming back to, always worth the wait for the final third.

Machinedrum Gunshotta (Ninja Tune, 2013)

Travis Stewart settles his Machinedrum project down into the tried-and-tested Ninja Tune environment for his new album Vapor City , after cracking footwork open with previous EPs, collaborating with Jimmy Edgar and letting Azealia Banks run wild with his beats. The new album starts with a bang, perhaps the loudest on there, leaving the ears ringing with a faint, familiar echo throughout the release. It’s that cut up of the vocal sample, “Gunsha-gunshotta, gunsha-gunshotta, me nah gon-” that’s so infectious. Stewart implements it as less of a gimmick and more of a hallmark by using it to reach a climax that never actually arrives, which is no negative thing when the track is on the up the entire time. The majority of the “Gunshotta” is spent rolling with the punches on the drum machine, warbling bass never shouting too loud but always making its paranoia-inducing presence felt. There’s some R’n’B vocal snippets that recall what Burial did on a toned-down scale that keeps you glued to the track yet resist approaching centre-stage. The fluctuation of the layers as they interchangeably slide over each other keeps the track fresh with every listen. “Gunshotta” is the deep end and Stewart throws you right in the thick of it, turning up notches by the bar before stuttering into its drizzly aftermath.

Mount KimbieYou Took Your Time (Kyle Hall Remix) (Warp, 2013)

Kyle Hall has become something of a revelation over the past couple of years, stepping into prominence having established a characterful label for his own Detroit house creations. The first thing he does when he gets his hand on the Mount Kimbie album highlight is propose contradiction; The bouncy, playful synth is shadowed by King Krule’s signature gargle, panning left and right and everywhere at once. It takes delicate hands to gradually turn this into a new beast, and Hall lets the warbling melodies grow somewhat before throwing in kicks full of attitude. The remix retains that Kimbie exoticness yet positions them in a context more ecstatic than usually expected, resulting in an absolute treat for any DJs out there (and anyone on the dancefloor too, for that matter.) King Krule comes back in before the final shuffle, and even he can’t steer the vehicle away from the fun.

FunkinEven x Delroy EdwardsX (Apron, 2013)

“X” is borne from the meeting of Kyle Hall-collaborator and Eglo-affiliate FunkinEven and Delroy Edwards, of gritty L.I.E.S house fame. Arriving on FunkinEven’s Apron Records, it channels the unkempt four-to-the-floor Edwards is known for whilst skittering along that line between house and techno. Glimpses of industrial warehouse sounds interrupt an arpeggio that becomes increasingly acidic in the rough, hardware-centred affair. The pair throw some white noise-style fuzz in for flair to put out a record that will no doubt play soundtrack for many a revelatory come-up in clubs, though the main strength of this single is its versatility, taking almost any kind of set to the next level.

Cosmin TRG Noise Code (Lee Gamble Remix) (50 Weapons, 2013)

One of Cosmin TRG’s more salient attributes is his ability to construct cohesive pieces, with “Noise Code” originally part of his second album Gordian, on Modeselektor’s 50 Weapons imprint. Having dropped two albums for PAN in 2012 – one a jungle archaeology project and the other alienated techno equally as experimental – Lee Gamble moves to restructure “Noise Code” from the inside out. The seriousness of the original is redeveloped into foreboding pensiveness, as subterranean bass skulks and creeps beneath a cold drone. A few minutes before the end the track slows to a crawl as its submerged to a new depth, where the jittery percussion moves to a distant place and leaves behind the odd SONAR ping. It just wouldn’t be Gamble if it didn’t take a turn towards the fascinating, really.

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