Tuesday, 15 February 2011
RECOMMENDED: Kahn - Like We Used To/Helter Skelter [Punch Drunk]
Accurate or not, there’s always a certain canon that immediately springs to mind when you think of Bristol. The likes of Peverelist, Rob Smith, Headhunter/Addison Groove, Appleblim and Pinch make up part of a core group who’ve had a major hand in developing the scene into its current state of health. Up until fairly recently it felt as though they remained the central hub in the city, but over the last couple of years or so there’s been a real burst of activity from a newer generation of producers taking inspiration from those that came before them. With new music coming from people like Hodge and Artifact on what feels like a daily basis, and the rise (and rise) of Julio Bashmore, it feels as though Bristol is currently poised to unleash another wave of sound on a largely unsuspecting rest of the country.
Kahn’s another one to add to that list; part of the Sureskank collective (which also includes recent Punch Drunk signee Superisk), he’s an established DJ presence within the city already and recently released the garage-infused Altar EP on A Future Without. This new release for Punch Drunk represents a considerable step upward though – along with Superisk’s ‘Find Your Way’ it’s another great example of Peverelist’s seemingly effortless ability to squeeze great tracks out of newer producers. In this case, fitting neatly with their casually hipster-psychedelic (hah) artwork, both ‘Like We Used To’ and ‘Helter Skelter’ wring surprisingly dance-friendly results from tightly meshed layers of synth.
The former betrays a sophisticated grasp of melody and composition, setting a deftly sliced vocal refrain adrift in space above a gradually developing percussive backbone. Impressively, at certain tiny moments the two appear to snag upon one another as momentary harmonies flicker before dissipating. The same trick is used, sans vocals, for ‘Helter Skelter’, which, as its name suggests, spirals around buoyant pulses of effervescent synth and diffuse, skittering percussion that’s not a million miles away from Peverelist’s own signature drum sound. The overall effect is both energising and calming at once, perhaps mimicking that wobbly lucidity it’s only possible to achieve at three or four in the morning, assisted by a headful of sub-bass and cheap booze.
Words: Rory Gibb