Sunday, 20 September 2009

PRE-ORDER: Mr. Gasparov – 1975/Octa Push - Ai Nadia & Laika Likes It [Steak House]

Sometime Bristol, sometime London duo Monkeysteak have announced the first 12” release from their new label Steak House, promising to deliver "pure carnival fire" through outsourcing global bass sounds. Over the last few years, the internet’s increasing ubiquity and ever-faster connection speeds have turned the cross-pollination of bass culture into a truly worldwide phenomenon. As well as giving rise to DJs who no longer stick exclusively to one style of music, this has enabled dubstep’s influence to bleed into other localised urban genres – and vice versa, as the Africanised percussive patterns of UK funky can attest to.

Surprisingly, given the label’s dynamic manifesto, Mr. Gasparov’s contribution is a curiously muted way to open their first 12”. Which is not to detract from the track at all – ‘1975’ is a woozy piece of two-step infused house that gradually layers up over its length, from the sparsest of synthetic melodies to an eerie carnival of sampled voices and dizzying instrumental tessellation. It’s still more of a slow-burning brushfire than a massive electrical explosion, which certainly could not be said of Octa Push who bring the promised fireworks on the flip.

‘Ai Nadia’ kicks the reverse off in fine form, its tightly syncopated beat loaded with elements from a whole host of different genres – the propulsive skip of garage, funky’s tribal machinations and the grimey crunch of kuduro. It’s the best thing on here by a long way, a little reminiscent of contemporaries Buraka Som Sistema in sheer bass aggression and lent a distinctly local air by deftly chopped ‘n’ sliced Portugese vocal shards. The fast and furious garage hybrid of ‘Laika Likes It’ wears its UK influences more overtly, a little bit of London attitude ensnared in its suggestive female vocals and bubbling subs.

Words: Rory Gibb
Out: 26th October 2009


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