Friday, 4 December 2009
PRE-ORDER: Octa Push - Deixa/Baila Mundo/Dubshh [Iberian]
After the one-two blow of Relocate’s ‘Hard Boogie For Dub Swingers’ EPs, Iberian Records’ next release steps up to deliver the decisive knockout blow. Stylistic miles from Relocate’s delicate dubstep-house infusions, Octa Push share certain similarities with fellow Lisbon disco-wreckers Buraka Som Sistema – all grimy bleeps and rough-edged bass drive. Yet while Buraka operate with at least a semblance of subtlety at times, the three tracks here are relentless in their quest for thicker, faster dance floor thrills.
Lead track ‘Deixa’ pitches itself somewhere in the grey area where kuduro’s high-speed bounce meets the balls-out aggression of grime. MC Toni Clean’s highly percussive vocal utterances are further shredded by the duo’s blender-like approach to production, creating a disorientating maze of gutteral grunts and pants around which bursts of hard-edged sub-bass gather pace. The overall effect is senseless but cheekily compulsive, its restless energy leaving little room for anything other than motion.
On the flip, MC Zulu at least provides a little more comprehensible sense in his chat, even if it mostly consists of dancefloor hype and breathless exhortations to an imaginary crowd. The track in question, ‘Baila Mundo,’ continues where ‘Dexia’ left off, with a relentless stomp reminiscent of a continental version of The Bug’s gritty digital dancehall.
Best of the three tracks here though is the last, the appropriately named ‘Dubshh,’ which strips away the chest-beating factor provided by the MCs, leaving behind a pulsing house-influenced instrumental not a million miles from UK funky’s darker regions. Its stop-start dynamics are curiously offset by a fluorescent synth theme that drifts slowly across the track’s length, leaving something of a confused taste in the mouth – neither totally testosterone-fuelled nor entirely contemplative, the result is a track both weighty on a big system and strangely relaxing. Not the easiest contradiction to come to terms with, but a welcome one.
Words: Rory Gibb