Short Circuits 9 - By Volume

Gotta get out, before my heart explodes. Candy Says - Not Kings
Step Or Stone

Short Circuits 9

In this edition of Short Circuits: hours of grime, remorseless drops, and the ringing alarm from Timesplitters. Author: on September 26, 2013
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Leon VynehallStep or Stone (Breath or Bone) (3024, 2013)

Leon Vynehall swings closer and closer towards the spotlight. He first hit my radar with the colourful Gold Language EP on George Fitzgerald’s ManMakeMusic last year, which also featured a charming Gang Colours remix. On the same label, he’s collaborated with A1 Bassline (Christian Piers) to put out big room house as Laszlo Dancehall. Vynehall moves on from Aus Music and Well Rounded Housing Project to make a splash on Martyn’s 3024 imprint next with his recently released Open EP. Featured as the first track on the flip, “Step or Stone” kicks typically 90’s house up a notch with its booming beat propping up a sweeping melody that doesn’t so much entice foot-tapping and head-nodding as it snatches listeners by the collar and drags them into the thick of it. Watch out for the toying hi-hat work and the remorseless second drop. This is the stuff those vivid moments of clarity through fog machines, refusal to give in to thirst and a flux of unfamiliar yet friendly faces are made of.

Hank Jackson Palee Hit (Proibito, 2013)

Hank Jackson follows Anthony Naples from releasing on Mister Saturday Night to dropping an EP on Naples’ own young yet serious label, Proibito. The Palee Hit EP holds three tracks, the latter two of which explore either side of the line established by the first; indeed the lead track rockets between safe techno and a more unshaven and unkempt creation. Jackson gives the barest of times before the deeper kicks break through while percussion clunks and clangs, pulverising the body into helpless submission. The unabashed attitude and focus on drums brings the Hessle Audio catalogue to mind, and I’m not quite sure what type of beast Proibito is as of yet though a focus to the more open-eared dancefloors is evident. We can expect to hear much more from the label, and of course Jackson, in the not-so-distant future.

Face+HeelFog & Night (self-released, 2013)

When the blogosphere first put me onto UK duo Face+Heel, they were channelling The xx through the wonderfully intimate and ice cold “Laughter in the Next Room”. Sinead McMillian and Luke Taylor swap muses for “Fog & Night”, forthcoming on their Chipped Tooth EP due the end of September. A woozy, slow-burning Mount Kimbie-esque beat stumbles forward as McMillian sighs her song to the late night – the sorts of vocals that would release vapour with each exhalation – while a delicate melody ticks over each bar. “Maybe for the first time,” she sings, unwilling to come to terms with her concessions, playing both sides of her contradictions. The ambience builds up until a searing, Dummy-era Portishead riff crawls to the forefront, and all of a sudden things seem to have gotten a fair bit intense. The release is sudden, the epilogue cautious, and it feels as if there’s still a little more pent up in there. But that’ll be for another night.

Sei AWants (Aus, 2013)

After flitting between Turbo, Hemlock and Kompakt, Sei A lands on Will Saul and Fink’s fastidious and groove-focused Aus Music imprint. The lead from the Wants EP delightfully pays homage to soulful Chicago house, dropping vocal cuts and distortions at every turn, explicitly breathing life into the track by direct methods. They don’t detract from the buoyant, ever-present but never bursting bassline. Sei A takes a barebones approach which works in the track’s favour as “Wants” lets each of its elements shine in some way or other, with a steaming synth breakdown in familiar but well-executed territory. No tricks, no surprises, just pastiche that does what it does and does it well, for those moments when things need to be taken a little deeper.

Grime WaveLord of the Beats

Just in case you missed it, pretty much every grime producer out there threw out tunes to do battle last week, as the scene climaxed in all its glory. Bless Beats, known for his production of Wiley’s “Wearing My Rolex”, kicked it off before the likes of MC, producer and Twitter celebrity JME propelled the challenge into all out war. Soon, producers of legendary or up-and-comer status were throwing their own ingredients into the mix. Not every moment was golden, though together they served up something explosive, and I’ll mention my favourite contributions below. Some would fire out in the open while others’ war dubs came in a little more personal, sending for producers and hitting them where it hurts. The scene spit out well over a hundred beats within a few days, which Grimeforum have handily compiled into a Soundcloud playlist, though I wouldn’t expect to hear much more anytime soon as the beatmakers are probably preoccupied with the release of GTA V.

Nocturnal The Real Top Boy

Nocturnal knocks out a quick ting that mashes Kano and Bashy against samples from the TV show Top Boy for something anthemic.

Teddy Music War Dub 2 (Kill All A DEM!!!)

Teddy Music’s second beat utilises the most outrageous sample of maybe all of the tracks put out – if anyone is wondering, yes that is the alarm from Timesplitters ringing out.

Kahn & NeekSoundboy Obliterator

Bristol duo Kahn & Neek have been unstoppable over the past year, with seminal releases such as Backchat and Chevy. They pair up once again to smash through the competition with throw back warbles, claps and strings, sampling everything from gunshots and laser blasts to every threatening patois snippet out there. Kahn’s personal reply after being sent for by Visionist is just as destructive, turning Visionist’s production trademarks on their head.

College HillWar Report (Send for Zomby)

In typical Zomby fashion, Zomby tweeted a boast about how he’d send for anyone, while also excusing himself from involvement by claiming to be too busy. Looks like College Hill wasn’t having it and proceeded to take him to school. Kicking things off with a Zomby-style melody loop, College Hill drops vocal samples personal attacking him with, “Plagiarism,” “Zomby – you never showed up,” and “Ain’t got time for the hype on Twitter,” referring to Zomby’s controversial production, performance and internet antics. Ouch.

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