Man. 2012 is shaping up big. It tends that the less music you download, the greater the indication that the music being put out is good: you don’t need the mass of free DLs to supplement music cravings. And thus far proves 2012. Tight, brilliant mix- and brilliant EP-heavy.
While Throwing Snow’s XLR8r was an early beastly blend, Synkro’s latest mix for RA is almost making me question the meaning of life. I was on the tube the other day, coming home in the midst of evening rush hour. The mildew of winter cold hung on my throat, the cut and thrust of respiration blazed on my lips. I was chilly, tired, and immensely stressed. Everyone around me was pissing me off, even though no-one did anything irritating. I just wanted to shout in rage, go on a stupidly long run, get that feeling of frustration out.
But then on came Synkro’s mix, and everything calmed down. Through techno, and the faint, sweet murmurings of bass. According to RA, the mix is ‘singular bass music and beyond’. I have absolutely no idea what singular bass music is, and nor indeed does Google. But what I do know is that whatever the fuck it is, it is fucking brilliant.
I would describe the mix as bass heavily-infused with techno dynamics. Every beat - which varies from dub to dnb to techno to even ‘wobble’ - feels laced in dark but gleaming low frequencies. Higher-pitched melodies skate across its top like feted dancers in sync, wearing white. And when the pace picks up around 13 minutes, I cannot help but thrust my fist towards the floor, and let the arriving hi-hats ring across my ears. The ten to fifteen minutes after this is simple, absolute, genius: in selection, in the sections to mix, and then the mixing itself.
In amongst this is DjRum’s new release ‘The Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn’. Before I saw the tracklist, I knew this was DjRum’s work. His signatures are all over it. The thumping but warm bass drum which hits like a heartbeat. The beautiful, arctic atmospherics. The funky, high frequency percussion. And, as you find below, the full (non mix version) is nine minutes long and has a huge expanse of natural instrumental. Cannot wait for this!
And second, we have something different. I have been tracking Lapalux for a while. His remix of Gwen S. was pretty damn sick (housemate again hated it, the boring get), but he really crushed me with his remix of Throwing Snow and Py’s ‘Wallow’ - as fully evinced by the opening minutes of my Masterchef mix. Last week Lapalux released new EP When You’re Gone, featuring brilliant and hyped track ‘Gutter Glitter’.
As great as this track is, however, there are further delights here. ‘Construction Deconstruction’ does indeed sound like he’s gone post-structuralist on his work, rewinding, reducing, questioning the very soul of its composition. And it’s beautiful. And then we have ‘Moments’, which he has recorded with the aforementioned Py, which emerges out of snow under lamps, her beautiful voice falling like a graceful drop onto the mix, sitting, thinking, and then slowly, sublimely, dissolving away. It’s great to hear producers with raw talent hone their skills and produce something remarkable; and so this, I hope, is just Lapalux’s beginning.