Wednesday, 8 September 2010

RECOMMENDED: Jam City – Night Slugs White Label [White]

It’s easy to end up with a spot of tunnel vision when you’re locked to the constant shifting of sounds and styles going on in a scene, so when I say Jam City’s anthemic refix of Endgames’ ‘Ecstasy’ is hotly anticipated, it’s hard to really gauge whether that excitement spreads beyond the borders of the usual Night Slugs/UK bass followers. Still, it ought to – while the track’s been doing the rounds on dubplate for what feels like an age now, it’s just as good as it was when it first started appearing in mixes from Bok Bok, Greena and the rest of the London crew.

The first thing that strikes when needle hits wax is just how stripped-back and lo-fi Jam City’s production sounds. It was initially tempting to write off its canned feel as a product of the low bitrate mixes it appeared in, but placed alongside the highly buffed sheen of everything else coming out at the moment, ‘Ecstasy Refix’ stands out as a maverick and entirely successful experiment. It helps that its percussion is perfectly pitched - 808 hits rattle around the mix, seemingly in a hundred different places at once. Played off against the hypnotic repetition of its maddeningly catchy central motif the overall effect is one of stasis, of having to run flat out just to stay in the same place. If that sounds like strange praise, it’s probably not quite doing justice to the jittery, adrenal feel of the whole thing, or its compulsively twitchy charm.

On the flipside, JC offers another pair of reimaginings: a venomous house refix of DJ Deeon’s ‘Let Me Bang’, replete with an insistent drum hook – clearly an emerging trademark – and an odd but very interesting Wiley-styled ‘Devil Mix’ of DJ Bone’s ‘Shut The Lights Off’. Considering the unrelenting nature of Bone’s own productions, its spaced out eski-stylings come as a surprise, but a welcome one. Once again it relies on a central hook around which to hang incremental change – in this case an abrasive, grinding sub – and burns itself out over four airy minutes, and rounds out a 12" that may well be the best Night Slugs have yet put out there. It's certainly their finest white label so far, and to be honest if you haven't managed to snag a copy by now it might well already be too late. Still, it's well worth the effort to track down.

Words: Rory Gibb
Out: Now


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