Everyone's favourite Hyde Park, Sainsbury's-dwelling graduates Hessle Audio give up a new smattering of sonics in the form of a Pearson Sound release. Label boss David Kennedy goes down the minimal route with this self-titled work, crafting beats that trickle down more subliminally than you'd expect; there's still a lot of fire to be heard here, though. It's just refined plenty.
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- Pearson Sound by Pearson Sound
8/10 Brian Staff review, 06 March 2015
Not been to a modern boom rave in a while to watch the moody well dressed techno bods lift the spirits of the delirious chatty well dressed folk. I always feel like scruffy Granddad Nobody at these events but as I stand in the corner quietly sipping my lukewarm bottle of 5 quid corona avec slice of lime I detect some fascinating beats, alarming rhythms and super-strange frequencies slamming out from the million quid Funktion One style speakers.
One of the labels I most admire and possibly the only electronic label based in my fair home of Leeds on my radar is Hessle Audio. Releases scant on the ground in a world saturated in contemporary club music; atmosphere and bass weight, classic techno and a taste for thrilling sparsity lace their fine releases.
To be fair, given my eclectic fascination for so many styles of music these days I rarely get a chance to indulge in all the latest techno and David Kennedy (who used to build some kicking bass music as Ramadanman) has had a few pass me by. But this new album is the best electronic full length I've heard so far this year.
Nine tracks of intense and compulsive bass-heavy experimental techno that makes proper sense to an old head like me. Given the amount of styles in vogue these days I wouldn't know where to start as a producer carving his/her own niche but Dubstep and Grime was truly ground zero and Kennedy has been constructing a diamond of a début album here.
Opener is super-moody and creepy with a stripped back dystopian grime feel fizzing with anticipation and dread. 'Glass Eye' has a superb ricocheting clatter smeared in aquatic effects and cool bass drops. Builds into something quite sinister with a UR-style electro vibe. 'Gristle' is a great example of dystopian eerieness with a sinister low-intoned vocal sample amongst the wavering depth charge, grainy layers of fuzz and beautiful melancholy waves of melancholic synth.
'Crank Call' takes you into kicking blurry kick-heavy techno containing a wonky disorientating synth motif. Lovely cymbal rushes on this. I would be straight on the dancefloor for this mid-paced stormer. Understated and powerful stuff. 'Swill' is plain crazy backroom shit, dark but giddy, exciting with an intense whipcrack.
Compulsive from word go. A modern practitioner utilising the hard-tech of the day and the stripped-back purist vision of his forefathers to make rhythmic, spare and thrillingly evocative music that works on many levels. Undersaturated with baggage, infused with dread and atmosphere; this self-titled treat will appeal to the backroom boys and a few tracks may even slay a club night. This, though, is often a more ponderous and atmosphere drenched offering for the thoughtful bass music fan. I love Hessle Audio. Visionaries.
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