Friday, 20 November 2009
PRE-ORDER: Gemmy - Johnny 5 EP [Planet Mu]
If the main trait Joker, Gemmy and Guido still share is a fiendish devotion to the use of synth textures to stain dubstep’s monochrome template a deep, groovy purple, then the last year has gone some way towards emphasising their substantial differences in approach. Whilst Joker’s ever expanding catalogue betrays a strong affinity with the smooth funk of West Coast hip-hop and Guido’s forthcoming ‘Beautiful Complication’ 12” sees him move ever further towards mutant, future-shocked R’n’B, the most recent music from Gemmy is hugely indebted to the scorched melodies that used to blare out of your brother’s SNES.
Gemmy’s second release for Planet Mu this year includes three of the tracks that featured on his mix for Mary Anne Hobbs’ Bristol: Rise Up special at the tail end of last year. At that point his only release had been the precociously brilliant 'Bk 2 The Future' 12" on Punch Drunk, but during his ten-minute mix its comparatively spacious atmosphere was entirely lost to shockingly barbed circuit meltdowns. The new EP’s title track ‘Johnny 5’ remains a case in point, its innocuously calm intro section suddenly exploding to life in a flurry of jittery high-hats and a grin-inducingly addictive melody.
By way of contrast ‘Wata Down Sound’ marries one of the cheekiest sample steals I’ve heard in a while to a hulking slab of Bristolian dubstep, driven by characteristic descending melodies and a cocky swagger. Final track ‘Shanti Riddim’ rounded off the Hobbs mix in silky-smooth style and in its full form is the EP’s highlight, playing toytown psychedelia off against a liquid groove that’s strangely reminiscent of Vincent Vega’s stoned ride down Pulp Fiction’s sleaze-ridden strip.
But it’s second track ‘Dolla Digital’ that may give some indication of the future potential in Gemmy’s music, its robotic refrain of "we don’t give a fuck about you" subverting dystopian menace with a sublime sense of the ridiculous. Crucially, it operates as an incredibly well-realised whole, its cruelly abrasive bass textures offset by the quirky pop sensibility that rears its head again and again over the course of the EP’s length.
More like this please.
Words: Rory Gibb
Out: 23rd November