Published on Beatsmedia 05/01/2014:
Out of all the tracks featured in the ‘Spread Love Vo.3’ compilation, my favourite releases were from My Nu Leng, Taiki, Nu Light, and South Soul Project. Thus, in this review, I’m going to write a pretty detailed review of three releases: ‘No 2’, ‘Reset’, and ‘Broken’.
My Nu Leng, Taiki, and Nu Light are a talented trio who have dived into the depths of house to drench their creations in an inky colour of darkness. Their two releases – ‘No 2’ and ‘Reset’, are dripping with concentrated acid, effortlessly penetrating through walls of resistance in a slithering motion. Who knew that House could have so much edginess and attitude? Each time the relaxing repetition becomes predictable, something new comes in to stir and unsettle the mind. The trio effectively provide an energy boost through unpredictability!
From beginning to end, ‘No 2’ contains many percussion variations, which makes the track highly engaging. The drums at the beginning are accompanied by a long and trailing echo of sound that spirals downwards, before the drum surface is brushed lightly and briefly. The fuzzy signal interruptions create an unsettling sensation, foreboding the intense sounds that lie ahead. Boom-claps soon become clarified, and every trumpet releases a jolting force. Beeps whisk through as a dribble and whomps waddle, creating an extra-terrestrial sound. Yet, the wobbling bass is extremely gratifying. Just when one might think the trumpet is the only thing to look out for, chop-chops burst into the breakdown and give people a heart attack. It’s impossible to know what surprises lie in store, and it’s hard to remember which element will come next for each segment in this complex piece. How exciting!
‘Reset’ brings in cymbals and a didgeridoo-like sound, but that’s not all! The track also has a synthesised bass line that transforms with differing variations on pitch, tone and volume about every 5-10 seconds. Towards the middle, after one of the middle layers of sound is compressed to produce a deeply airy effect, it gets condensed and twisted into a spiral. Although the usual House percussion comes in later on, it quickly becomes intermittent, plays cymbals in isolation, and then, in glides a deep bass echo that seems to moan. At the end, the bass line becomes so deep that it sounds like a quietly beating heart. The transitions are quick, but smooth at the same time.
Last but not least, South Soul’s Project’s ‘Broken’ (featuring Sam Wills) meets most of the expectations I have for a relaxing House track. There are several robotic or digitised sounds in the beginning. If you’ve played ‘Portal’ before, it would remind you of the turrets’ voices (great Dubstep turret anthem here). There are also some whomps in this track, but they give off a very posh vibe. The most seductive moments are the ones where Sam Wills sings ‘Broken’ and the bass line descends. One minor downside would be how the lyrics seem to state the obvious, or arrive to a pretty odd conclusion. If I had to tell someone what the song was about, I would say something like this: “Guy sees girl in the room, notices how she feels like she doesn’t belong, finds that he’s in the same situation: As in, both of them are ‘broken’, so they need to run.” If it weren’t for the emphasis and arrangements made in response to the words “I think we’re broken” and “we need to run”. It’s a rather awkward explanation.
These three tracks were the ones that stood out for me in Black Butter Record’s latest compilation, so the rating will only apply to what I’ve mentioned. Feel free to listen to the previews of other releases in the compilation on Beatport! The album has been available for purchase since the 30th of December.
Overall rating 8/10