Friday, 9 October 2009
PRE-ORDER: Brackles - Rawkus/Air Pie [Planet Mu]
Planet Mu’s release schedule has been burning up the ether this year – it seems like hardly any time has passed since they put out Blunted Robots honcho Brackles’ last twelve. Considering what came before, it was less an evolution and more a wholescale shock to the natural order of things – ‘LHC’ felt like a total genetic modification of dubstep’s DNA, as he married a fidgety melodic line to hard-and-fast futurist garage beats. The same could be said of his and Shortstuff’s ‘Sutorito Faita,’ a cavernous plunge through grating subs and warped vocal samples.
So it’s surprising given its title that ‘Rawkus’ is probably the most graceful thing he’s ever produced, awash in spiraling synth patterns, fragmented vocals and a strange sense of contemplation. Its thoughtful aura and minor key moves tie in closely with the recent explosion of half-remembered garage beats and post-rave atmospherics, a trend making its presence felt through everyone from Zomby and Flying Lotus to Scuba and 2562. All of this having been said, it was never going to be Brackles without a bit of cheeky humour and an essential sense of dancefloor dynamic; after all, the man’s a next level DJ. His sense of timing and ear for the drop is as keen as ever, most strongly felt in razor-edged snares and a cartoonish instruction: “Shut up already! Dance!” It seems pretty foolish to disobey.
‘Air Pie’ on the flip is in much the same vein, a slower and more considered number pivoting around a central sample which drifts through the mix to reach the forefront before the kick suddenly trips over the high end into a heavily skanking drop. The overall effect is slightly disorienting – sudden glitches and rhythmic stumbles hardly make for well-balanced dancing – but pleasurably so. After the manic, technicolour party bursts of Brackles’ last twelve, the two cuts here are a slightly different but no less effective experience, and coming out of a massive pair of speakers his thrusting sub lines are transformative.
Words: Rory Gibb