Soon To Be Innocent Fun #1
WORDS BY THEO KOTZ
I’ve been asked by the powers that be at Lonely Table to compile a monthly column of tunes drawing on the rich, fertile well that is Dance Music. I won’t try to capture the essence of even one corner of that black, entangled jungle, not a fucking chance – instead the thread that binds these tracks will be as viscoelastic as the meaning of the term. What I will try to do is share a little of what gives me that feeling, like a darkening mist bleeding from my centre out through my whole being; that tension and spark between soul and mechanisation.
This first edition features Romania’s Khidja and their fluid marriage of the echoes of the Ottoman Empire and Krautrock, Luke Slater’s pummelling viscera and some lean-drinking bedroom tracks from dBridge. Read on for more tunes ‘wholly or predominantly characterised by the emission of a succession of repetitive beats'.
CLICK ON A PIECE OF ARTWORK TO HEAR THAT RELEASE
Khidja – El Fadaa
(Malka Tuti, 2015)
'DRUMS OF TAKSIM'
It’s been months now but I still play this all the time. All the fucking time. I’m partial to a roller, a big chugging Weatherall of a tune that just sweeps you along. Any one of the monsters on this EP do that to me, taking a Middle-Eastern sonic palette as a base and wrapping it up, stretching it out and subtly distorting it into something new. Drums of Taksim’s ominous build-up and insistent poetry is the most affecting – when that guitar just lands in there – jeez. Vital.
Planetary Assault Systems – Arc Angel
(Ostgut Ton, 2016)
'THE LAST SCENE'
I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Luke Slater last week. For me he is at the very pinnacle of his world, a world of space, echo, endless depth and ghosts in the machine. His is a pure Techno, lean and purposeful, built for the belly of the Berghain. On this record, his bestial sounds have shifted higher into the realms of melody and inflection, but they are no less alien.
Planetary Assault Systems – The Messenger
(Ostgut Ton, 2011)
'RIP THE CUT'
Given the previous, I had to include this. As you can imagine, I have fallen pretty deep into the rabbit hole of Slater’s releases but this is near the surface. It is unreal. Play it very loud.
dBridge – Too Late
(Exit Records, 2016)
'COS MY LOVE IS'
Druggy, syrupy, aural exploration from the veteran drum & bass luminary. The whole release carries this foreboding unease, and the dizzy, fucked-up soul inherent in the vocals is slightly nauseating. As well as ‘Cos My Love Is’, ‘Gone Before’ particularly gets under my skin.
Medlar – WOLFPROMO001
(Wolf Music, 2016)
Medlar showing his subtle mastery of his kit on this one, ‘Body Action’ in particular. Imagine a spherical ball floating in the air and watch him turn it to viscous fluid and elastically twist and tease it into strange rubbery shapes.…. then lay that piano on it. Just so right.
DJ Metatron – 2 The Sky
'2 BAD – WHAT IF MADNESS IS THE ONLY RELIEF'
Been around since last year but the repress is available to pre-order now in a welcome up-yours to the Discogs sharks. Fuck them. Intensely emotional over breakbeats, this absolutely floored me when I heard it last year.
James Booth – Silver Blaze
'WHY WOULD YOU NOT'
This release is a real versatile piece of work. The main track plays it pretty straight and broad while ‘Soup’ takes a left turn, intricately adorning a skittish two-step rhythm with Asiatic melodies. ‘Vision’ is a weighty floor-ready workout but ‘Why Would You Not’ is the reason it makes this list, plunging deeper whilst keeping it playful. Killer from the Church label.
Zomby – Ultra
Such a strong record, Zomby is always so impressive. One of the things I love is how every collaborative track really draws on the influence of the collaborator, be it the dark and violent ‘Sweetz’ with Burial, Darkstar’s brightly textured influence on ‘Quandary’ or the woozy jungle of ‘SDYF’ with Rezzett. It also sounds so UK. A few years ago it seemed like everyone was borrowing from these shores yet somewhere along the way we began following and not leading. Zomby is one of the few veterans from that time still pushing boundaries.
DJ Spider & Marshallito – Contest for Supremacy
(The Trilogy Tapes, 2015)
Stunning EP, so what if it’s like a year and a half old. ‘Nuclear Winter’ is the obvious stand out with its insane left-turn but ‘Geiger Counter’ takes the biscuit for me: heavy, squelchy acid-techno with ancient Inca vibes. Word.
Virginia – Fierce For The Night (Ostgut Ton, 2016)
A tribute or homage to the classic 90s vocal house banger played dead straight. I’m wary of nostalgia for its own sake but this hits the mark so perfectly. The record takes a few turns but it’s always build on a bed of rock-solid house tracks made with the help of the likes of Steffi and Martyn.
Pinch – Qawwali
(Planet Mu, 2006)
Dropped by British Knights to close Cotch International’s 1st birthday a couple months ago. People went in. This is as good as 140 gets – incidentally that is fucking good. Turn it up and feel that weight of bass wash over you.
Wookie – 'Scrappy'
(Manchu Recordings, 1999)
Heard this in my mum’s kitchen for the first time in ages and it’s so good. In one of those perfect marriages of tune and experience, I have only very occasionally enjoyed making breakfast so much, and the quality of the resulting plate was of equal rarity. A certified banger.
Arthur Russell – Calling Out Of Context
(Rough Trade, 2004)
'I LIKE YOU'
I listened to this record for the first time not much more than a year ago. It had the kind of effect on me I think only a handful of albums do in a lifetime. He is a brilliant, shape-shifting genius. This just happens to be my favourite tune of his this month.
Artwork design by Yasseen Faik