Monday, 19 October 2009
PRE-ORDER: HXDB - Prism/Macro Modular/Showdown At The Cinema [Mindset]
Canadian producer Hexadecibel, hereby shortened to 4 letters to represent each syllable of his full moniker, who first appeared on Echodub’s freebie compilation ‘Anechoic Chamber' is at the helm of Manchester’s Mindset label's newest plate; and over the course of the three tracks on offer, he really does manage to paint a perplexingly unique and distinctively old school style.
The A side ‘Prism’ feels like it owes a debt of gratitude to the Dutch school of production with crystal clean drum lines and a smattering of those fluent touches of synth colour a-la 2562, with HXDB letting the ethereal patches of jagged euphoria meld into the harsher bass stabs that dissolve after half a bar. Its swagger is simple, even a little minimal in terms of HXDB letting each sound breathe, but the charm of it really does lie in that snare that seems to bubble and pop as much as it snaps.
‘Macro Modular’ and its accompanying track on the flip, ‘Showdown At The Cinema,’ however display a penchant for a more twisted b-line (likened by Boomkat to the minimal patterns of dBridge) with the former letting the focus lie on the subtle panning on the tail end of the uplifting bass loop before the cut up drums of the halfway point signal something a little more danceable. Even when HXDB cuts loose he still keeps the restraint present and correct, mixing up the bass patterns and only cranking up the resonance a few times to get that liquid pursing “wow” sound.
‘Showdown At The Cinema’ is probably the stand out cut though, with the introduction of a heavily delayed vocal to what sounds like a reversed and processed guitar loop, monumental strings and a toy piano that squeals joyfully throughout its limited appearance. ‘Showdown…’’s real moment in the sun though is when all of the above elements come to pass layered atop the grumpy, distortion frayed bassline, as HXDB stutters out the groove with a few of those amen style hi hat shuffles.
Words: Oli Marlow