Wednesday, 23 February 2011
RECOMMENDED: Ill Blu – Meltdown EP [Numbers]
Back in August of 2009 a video appeared on youtube from UK funky production team and Rinse FM regulars, Ill Blu and ever since that track has been lodged in my brain. That tune turned out to be ‘Meltdown’ the title track on the first 12” to be released on Numbers in 2011. With only a few other releases on wax - the phenomenal ‘Time To Get Nasty’ from The Fantastic 4 EP, the undisputed anthem in their ‘Pull It’ w/ Shystie, the odd remix here and there plus last year’s Hyperdub release of ‘Bellion’ b/w ‘Dragon Pop’ - it’s a pleasure to see them unleash some of that fire. Listeners to their ever growing collection of dubplates - which you can hear when you tune into their Rinse show (Tue, 11-1am) – will be more than aware of their combination of rude bass and supple hard-hitting percussion is on show here.
‘Meltdown’ comes right out the gate with galloping tribal drums, showcasing that irresistible percussive vibrancy that Ill Blu personify. Before you know it those skipping snare hits -that five in a bar flutter they’re so good at - skits over the bass tones and you’re shaking so much more than just a leg. Coupled with pulsing bass drops, acidic alien synth tweaks and melodramatic melodic ascents, - one of which sounds suspiciously like when you get spotted by a guard on Metal Gear Solid and have to go into hiding – well... let’s just say this one is a banger.
The other two track ‘Overdose’ and ‘Chelt’ aren’t to shabby either; skippy rhythms that ooze energy, rudeness and pure vibes are handed out in spades. ‘Overdose’ bleeps and bubbles in fine style, Ill Blu know how to get some dramatic dance floor tension rolling, here playing the vibey bleeps against over-saturated buzzy bass tones. The rolling snares and rushing synths on ‘Chelt’ make you feel like you’re at carnival, those raw bass hits are back and coupled with a euphoric electro rush and spaced out key melodies.
If by the end of this EP a robotic voice chanting “Ill Ill Blu Blu…” isn’t music to your ears then you’re just going to have to reach for the rewind.
Words: James Balf