Group ReviewsReviews

Mobthrow / Çuta Kebab & Party / 2methylbulbe1ol

Pitch Black EP

Mobthrow – Pitch Black EP
12” vinyl/digital, Mindtrick Records, 2011

As expected, Mobthrow (Angelos Liaros) delivers once again that notorious, dark dubstep sound with “Pitch Black EP”, which comprises three original numbers and a remix of the title track, courtesy of Hecq. “Pitch Black” is slow-paced and menacing, its grand atmosphere supported by a deep, wormy bass groove. Entering later, its signature sound – a biting throwback to the harder side of drum’n’bass – cuts through like so many sharp blades. Hecq’s treatment has similar pacing to the original, preserving its ghostly choral ambience, despite a hard-hitting dubstep character that brings the sharp stabs into greater focus. From its patient beginning, “Flashback” moves into a shivering dubstep thriller, with churning washes of sound that bring up goosebumps. “Enter Dubcore”, certainly the roughest number of the bunch, is a case study in rolling beats, sweeping atmospheres and skittish sounds. These form a crashing, surging combination, building level upon level into a complex, apocalyptic groove that only climaxes at its end. Overall a great record to have in the crate, this is grand and emotive dubstep done quite admirably. [8/10]

Çuta Kebab & Party

Çuta Kebab & Party – ÇK&P
10” vinyl, Faca Monstro / Chili Con Carne, 2011

Limited to 300 copies, including a poster and illustrations by six different artists, this special 10” vinyl release from newcomers Çuta Kebab & Party is a surprising mashup of tough, fast breakbeats and Turkish flavours. “ÇK&P” has six tracks of varying texture, all intercut with trademark chopped and diced samples of Turkish vocalists, instruments and melodies. The often raucous and piercing sounds are paired with uncompromising, rapid-fire percussion in a whirling cut-and-paste mix of looping samples and jittery drums. Although “ÇK&P” leans heavily on breakcore models, the crisp percussion and ample empty space in between these elements, alternatively dense and sparse phases, and exotic feel given by a wide variety of sample sources sets the release somewhat apart from its peers. The broken beats often move from less to more complex – “Xuta Bomba” contains a nice build alongside its looping melodies, while “The Eurasian Cynocephalus” stays sharp despite the chopped (male) Turkish singing. “Monte Judi” is the slowest number, with sensual, floating melodies suitable for a belly dancer, and “Hulhut” is ostensibly the most disjointed, with different melodies overlapping more cut up vocals. Besides the boisterous Turkish angle, “ÇK&P” does not have much in the way of innovative stuff. Fun for a listen, this particular style needs some time to mature before it gets regular play. [5.5/10]

2methylbulbe1ol – Quelques Siècles D'Insomnie

2methylbulbe1ol – Quelques Siècles D’Insomnie
12” vinyl/digital, Test Tube, 2009

“Quelques Siècles D’Insomnie” (‘several centuries of insomnia’), by unpronounceable 2methylbulbe1ol (Nicolas Druoton), is best categorized in that vein of IDM especially made to prickle the senses, full of vibrating percussion and irregular structures set against more ambient backgrounds. Despite the anticipated unpredictability of the twisted sounds and broken beats, the execution is rather faultless, making this short release a fascinating and pleasurable listen. From the fast, staccato rhythms of “Nocturne” to the acid wobble of “Sans Échafaud”, the decelerated heaviness and noire feeling of “Vagues Souvenirs” to the subtle bells, quiet interludes and orchestral strings of “Neuf Clous”, the dreamlike quality of “Quelques Siècles D’Insomnie” certainly belies its name. At times seething and sinister, at others darkly gorgeous, here 2methylbulbe1ol succeeds in shaping a balanced microcosm of off-kilter electronics that is as listenable as it is unassuming. [7/10]

— Dutton Hauhart

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