Tuesday, 18 May 2010
RECOMMENDED: Ramadanman – Glut/Tempest [Hemlock]
After a wee break, David ‘Ramadanman’ Kennedy has jumped back on the prolific wagon of late, releasing no fewer than three EPs on various labels. The first, his self-titled effort for his own Hessle Audio label, met with general acclaim when it emerged a couple of months ago: tracks like ‘I Beg You’ and ‘No Swing’ felt like a logical step upwards from his earliest productions. Still focusing heavily on the brittle, bone-dry percussion that’s swiftly become a Hessle trademark – witness the monochrome pressure of the label’s latest 12” from Blawan – they showed a leap forward in terms of structure and intricacy. Still, while ‘Tumble’ may have shared the same icy chill as Wiley’s early eski instrumentals, and ‘A Couple More Years’ wielded deftly sliced breaks to devastating effect, there were points where the EP’s clinical precision felt a little too austere to connect with fully.
This new plate on Hemlock, though, is the real deal. It’s certainly the best thing Kennedy’s put his name to since Pearson Sound’s underrated ‘PLSN,’ and lead track ‘Glut’ shares its rattling top-end and peculiar rhythmic sensibility. Its booming 808 kicks and claps place it alongside recent tracks by Addison Groove and Girl Unit in that strange grey area where Chicago juke’s influence is beginning to percolate through UK bass, a region which will doubtless soon open up to far wider exploration. Above all else though, ‘Glut’s gorgeous clipped female vocal and shimmering synth melody lend it a real human warmth. Alongside the build-and-release dynamic of ‘Tempest’, which winds like a spring before suddenly exploding in a burst of noise, it makes for a formidable one-two punch of a twelve.
Words: Rory Gibb