Monday, 21 March 2011

RECOMMENDED: Becoming Real – Closer/Antarctic City [Cold World Industries]

Toby Ridler’s combination of stark glacial melodic spikes and rolling drum play are indicative of someone who’s embroiled in their own world. Sure, ‘Closer’ – the A side of the first release on his freshly minted Cold World Industries label - shares a sample pack with Addison Groove and Pearson Sound, but is the cerebral swirl sitting behind the relative simplicity of the repetitive lead line that sets him apart from other producers. Like his last release, the Not Even backed Spectre EP, ‘Closer’ is more like grime - playing out like a hypermelodic devil mix that’s been peppered by an over enthusiastic finger drummer – and that rawness displayed is probably the most interesting thing about the Becoming Real project.

You could call it Eski influenced. You could call it juke influenced, but Ridler’s work stands apart - the over-riding elements at play here are the tapestries that the ice cold synthesizers weave in your mind. Like the densely layered work of El-P on Cannibal Ox’s game changing The Cold Vein album, ‘Antarctic City’ is more of a tumble down production, almost regimented by the kick drums and jarring snare drums that sit back from the headroom of the mix just enough to make you really concentrate on them. Its beguiling; almost anti dancefloor but completely pro trance (in terms of the faraway mindstate kind of spiritual trance), smothered in stark layers and snatched vocals, shifting up a gear into something danceable with a proper snare at around the 3 minute mark.

Jam City’s refix of ‘Closer’ re-positions the track for the darkest of dancefloors, with the Night Slug keeping the menace of the original but transporting the focus of it to the bassline whilst he ups the snare quota a million percent. That threat and sense of brooding is perfectly translated into a Jam City-house-tempo-roller. It’s the flag in the summit of Becoming Real’s third EP, a stark and brash marriage that’s tortured itself purely for its own benefit.

Words: Oli Marlow // Out: Now

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