Sunday, 4 July 2010
PRE-ORDER: Al Tourettes - The Next Meal/When I Rest I Rust [If Symptoms Persist]
The entire concept of dubstep multiplied by techno – thrown as an overarching blanket over the sort of static-drenched cuts that made up Appleblim’s Dubstep Allstars mix a couple of years ago – is essentially a redundant one at this point. Much as it’s easy to single out groups of producers making stuff that’s heavily influenced by both stables, in most cases there’s such a density of things going on that any attempt to unravel them into two such broad regions runs the risk of tunnelvision. Scuba’s excellent Triangulation album is one recent example; Al Tourettes’ latest plate for If Symptoms Persist is another.
As a regular Appleblim co-conspirator and Bristol resident, the techno comparison was always going to be there. But where many of that stable take the ashen motion of the Berlin set as a primary source, there’s a lot more Detroit in Al Tourettes’ music. Certainly, if there’s one common trait most easily singled out, it’s both tracks’ sheer, irresistible funk. ‘When I Rest I Rust’ positively oozes body movement, powered by an irresistibly liquid groove that acts in stark contrast to the ferrous vocal motif that gradually seizes up across its length. It panders far more to Drexciya’s oceanic obsessions than to dubstep’s bassweight fetish, and relishes in the tension of an all-too-long interlude that carves through the centre. There’s swing here for sure, but it relinquishes its power to a restless, jittery mood that offsets party vibes for something far more sinister.
Over on the A, the clipped two-step stylings of ‘The Next Meal’ prove less immediate, but vertiginous in depth. Although neither track makes any kind of concession to dancefloor ease – far from it – it’d probably be easier to get down to; its garagey flex ebbs and flows around warm gusts of sub that drift up from some subterranean lair. Hardly easy listening then, but a seriously impressive display of how it’s possible to assimilate the best bits from a host of other influences – techno, electro, dubstep, even noise – and reimagine them as something that’s entirely its own. It’s certainly a damn sight more compelling than his debut 12” for Apple Pips, and is suggestive of the emergence of something totally unique that for now remains hidden just around the next corner.
Words: Rory Gibb