Friday, 18 December 2009
PRE-ORDER: Asusu - Small Hours/Taurean [Project Squared]
On the surface at least, the legacy of 2009 seems to have been to render obsolete any simplistic notion of a discrete techno-dubstep crossover, as many of the artists previously making music that could loosely be placed under that bracket have begun to further absorb influence from a host of surrounding genres. The result has given rise to an often inseparable hybrid that presents techno as merely one of its many facets, alongside Chicago house (Untold), funky (Ramadanman and the Blunted Robots stable), old-school garage (Martyn, 2562) and awkward, jittery electronica.
Bath’s Asusu, whose debut 12” ‘Small Hours’/’Taurean’ was released this week on the new Project Squared imprint, provides further assertive evidence to support this notion. The two tracks here draw unmistakable influence from Berlin, shrouded in dense clouds of static and swirling, barely there melody as they drift with a subtle but deadly forward propulsion. Yet just beneath the smoked out surface of ‘Taurean’ lies a tightly swung garage flex, lending its shiny chrome exterior a welcome human element. By the time its simple three-note melody ushers the track’s midsection into action, its core is breathed into fidgety life by the tight tessellation of three separate elements – four-to-the-floor pulse, rattling London percussion and fast-paced subs.
‘Small Hours’ is a slow-burner by comparison, driven by dubby bass and a more overtly half-stepped rhythm, yet its subtle track-length synth mutations point as much towards Maurizio as towards El-B. In a year when producers like Dave Huismans (2562) have upped their game significantly, it’s good that UK talent continues to prove itself in rude health.
Words: Rory Gibb