Monday, 12 April 2010

PRE-ORDER: Egyptrixx - The Only Way Up EP [Night Slugs]

It seems pretty hard to deny that 2010 is looking set to be the year of the Night Slug. On top of Mosca’s stunning Square One EP and a pair of dancefloor-heavy white labels on their own label, Bok Bok & Bubbz’s mighty ‘Citizens Dub’ has made a recent appearance on Blunted Robots and since has become something of a crossover anthem. Such an unstoppable run of releases has ensured that Bok Bok and L-Vis 1990 have made a swift shift from largely unknown to figureheads for a new group of bassheads. Once again, it’s largely been down to the power of the internet, and the fact that the sort of tracks both produce are appealing to DJs far beyond the confines of London.

There certainly seems to be a wider movement towards funky-inspired soca beats across the board, at times even tacked onto the kind of buzzsaw elastic noize that made the whole fidget house thing so exhausting. The second track on Night Slugs’ second ‘proper’ release, The Only Way Up EP from Toronto’s Egyptrixx, is a frustrating example. Entitled ‘Everybody’s Bleeding’, it shifts gear from a carefully restrained opening segment to an entirely unsubtle, heavily filtered drop, and in doing so moves the label’s goalposts further than ever before from simple UK-centric sounds. It’s a shame that in this case the track feels as though it strips away the careful nuances of the best funky in favour of cheap thrills.

The rest of the EP fares far better. Kingdom’s remix of ‘Everybody’s Bleeding’ reintroduces the feminine pressure the original sorely lacks, imagining it as a militaristic sub-led stomp akin to some of Cooly G’s recent Dub Organizer music. The title track is a deliciously downbeat space-synth epic, and Ikonika’s remix keeps its melodic core entirely intact but rebuilds it as a slowly unfurling post-garage shuffle. Most interesting of all is Cubic Zirconia’s remix. Instead of merely rehashing ‘The Only Way Up’ into yet another dancefloor shape, the Brooklyn band use it as the foundation for an entirely different vocal-led song, Tiombe going all ‘Kool Thing’-era Kim Gordon over a tightly-wound punk-funk backdrop. There’s a palpable feeling that this branching out will prove to be merely the tip of the Night Slugs iceberg – even if the results aren’t always fantastic, it seems unlikely they’ll be any less than intriguing.

Words: Rory Gibb
Out: Now


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