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Osiris Music have recently forged a great relationship with the UVB-76 crew. Simon Shreeve’s label issued an EP from Overlook back in 2018, recent compilation Themes & Variations featured both Overlook and Pessimist, and now the latter has stepped out for a solo release. Pessimist has always had a knack for crafting black-hearted club fare, but on the Austerity EP the Bristolian spends just as much time crafting dark ambient takes as he does treacle-thick dancefloor cuts. While ‘New Age’ and ‘Austerity’ sound like a more Gothic version of Batu, ‘Kabadaro’ and ‘Progression’ drift off into the ether. JK Flesh does a sort of industrial-Hessle thing on his ‘New Age’ remix.

Vinyl 12" £9.49 OSMUK055EP

5-track 12" EP on Osiris Music incl. JK Flesh remix.

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Austerity by Pessimist
1 review. Write a review for us »
8/10 Ant 27 February 2019

Pessimist (real name Kristian Jabs) returns to Simon Shreeve's (Mønic) Osiris Music label with his second EP for the imprint. As expected, it's top drawer gloom, channelling drum & bass, techno, dubstep and pitch black ambient/drone into his now signature brew which is the sweetest and sourest thing to happen to bass music since Mick Harris hung up his Scorn hat. I’ve been guzzling said brew for the last few years and still, I can’t get enough of his sound.

‘New Age’ gets straight in there with menacing low end and impending heart attack paranoia kick drum pulse. Where I wanna be listening to this ain't sat behind a computer, rather I wanna be in a dance with a towering soundsystem and just let the vibrations devour me - total bass annihilation. It’s a cavernous tune, masterfully mapping out a space to wander inside. Likewise ‘Kabadaro’ creates an environment to get lost in. Feels like I’m wondering a dystopian, post-apocalyptic wasteland accompanied by a robot, endlessly wandering through scorched forest, surveying the carnage.

Underneath, ‘Austerity’ strips jungle back to its bare bones, leaving its essence running through the core of the track, yet it’s more than an exercise in reduction or minimalism. The sparser, functional percussion allows for plenty of space for lots of intricate vaporous and subtly detailed effervescent sounds to hover in and out, float around and dissolve over the woody kicks, shuffling hi-hats and cranium rattling bass. Justin Broadrick shows up for a remix of ‘New Age’ as JK Flesh, taking a less subtle approach to the dread-filled original. The whole thing feels like its spiralling into a black abyss and messing with my equilibrium as he shoots in some spliced jungle breaks and siren bass for additional damage. ‘Progression’ closes the record with ominous drones that swell and shiver like ripples in a lake filled with black water.

There’s no light or joy to be found here. For me, the joy in listening and feeling the music is in how alienated, detached and utterly devoid of even a trace of optimism it is. Well, he is called Pessimist. Proper A1 bleak zone gear. Can’t wait to hear his forthcoming album with Karim Maas...


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