Low End Lowlife: 15.11.12

Our Low End Lowlife speaks...

Posted on Nov 15th, 2012 in Features and Interviews / By Matthew Bayfield
Low End Lowlife: 15.11.12 This weekend I stayed home, which meant a night out in Great Yarmouth. For those who haven't been, imagine a night out in a pub crammed with everyone from your secondary school and college. Now add a few stone, rogue children, heavily suppressed mental issues and the odd unplanned child / planned abortion. There you've got it. Oh it's also more expensive for a gin & tonic in our local club than it is in Fabric. But then again it was only four quid to get in... But then DJ Luck & MC Neat were playing. Easy come, easy go. Still, on the plus side I did spend the majority of the night in tears of laughter, which gently dried upon my cheek with a melancholy gust of nostalgia as people I didn't remember the names of attempted to remember my name.
I've never fully understood folk who go on a "mad" night out with the sole intention of taking dissociative narcotics but I think I may have found the perfect destination for them to save a few pounds and not have to worry about a Monday morning piss test at work.

First up this week is Bristolian duo Behling & Simpson have brought a new 12" of their groove heavy style to Bristolian don Appleblim's ApplePips label. On the A comes 'Where The Oh's' which struts out on tightly clipped drums and weighty sub kicks, progressing through some nice airy pads before settling on an addictive bass groove with that warmth commonplace in a good handful of Applepips’ releases. Over on the flip comes the even warmer immersion of 'Tape Hiss' which slithers on a constant, gently surging bass & some eccentric little electronic squiggles. It's not quite got the more flares and chest hair element of their Futureboogie releases from last year, but it's a confidently laidback set that fits nicely alongside other 'Pips cuts such as the wonderfully hazy Sven Weisemann remix of 'Humber'. A right slinky little crushed velvet number with some of that lovely minimalist Give Up Art sleeve aesthetic to boot.

Next up, taking the ears on a more rhythmically erratic workout is the mildly brilliant new Mickey Pearce 12" (pictured) on Swamp 81. Frontside 'Numb Nut (Soft Brain)' skitters around on some aquatic bass burble (yeah that's a word), twisted samples I couldn't tell you the origin of and that brittle, stripped out percussion that is a regular backbone in the Swamp sound. The true highlight, however, is the moment where more or less all the track's pieces are put on hold to allow a small tribe space to let out a triumphant cheer. It probably doesn't have its own dance move yet but it deserves one. AA is 'Socks Off' the slightly heftier of the two cuts, which sees a nicely elasticised bit of bass peacocking around to some afro-beat percussion and the odd minor chord keys not unlike the soundtrack to the 1950's version of King Kong... Although from memory that soundtrack didn't have densely syncopated 808 claps all over it. Either way both these tracks, coupled with some more wonderfully stripped down artwork from Ashes57 make this another consecutive gem for Loefah's excellently curated imprint.

Keeping things on an odd percussive bent comes the newest instalment in Om Unit's always fun white label series. Following on from his last 10" of soulful style edits this time we're treated to a pair of cuts that focus mainly on dense hi-hat manoeuvres in the frenetic vein of that slow/fast, footwork manner. On the A is the yin/yang partnership of a gentle, mournful saxophone piece married to some of the densely packed percussive flair mentioned previously. It may sound unlikely but it is actually a beautifully gentle number, mining similar territory to artists like Kuedo and recent Ital Tek but in my opinion feeling that little bit warmer and human, largely through that saxophone sample (the origin of which I have no idea of). The b-side is a thoroughly sci-fi affair, with some of that rich European synth sound that you can almost hear when you look at the words of a Phillip K Dick novel, backed with more of that dense percussion. For bonus soundtrack sad-act credit play this side at 331/3rd rpm & pitch it down by 10% as well & it more or less becomes part of a chopped and screwed John Carpenter soundtrack. Which is lovely. Also this wax probably clinches the 'Best Artwork of the Week’ title, as although the Swamp plate is a great piece of retro styling it doesn't have two sides worth of bearded men adorning it.

Check back next week, where if I haven't been overindulging in the social seaside Ketamine that is a Great Yarmouth club night you'll find me being biased once more to beard-based bass releases.

You can also catch me pissed up and blathering incoherently mid-week on Twitter @lowendlowlife or @beardedmagazine if you're down with all that smart phone/internet hype.