Low End Lowlife: 26.10.11

Rants and raves from our beloved Matthew Bayfield

Posted on Oct 26th, 2011 in Features and Interviews / By Matthew Bayfield
Low End Lowlife: 26.10.11 In the last week there was felt a massive tremor in the so called "balance" of our quaint little planet's power structure. A true leader and his committed disciples have fallen. Some would brand he a "tyrant" or "sick monster" and they his "minions" or "spineless henchman". Their impact has been felt nigh on literally in every corner of the (spherical) globe. From the Middle East, through the great paper tiger that is the united western "powers" of Britain and the U.S all the way to Ireland it appeared there was nowhere innocent lives could not be touched. They have apparently ruined lives. Devastated societies seemingly in pursuit of their own selfish ends... Alas now they are no more. Whilst some take to the streets in jubilant glee, leering in the face of their painful and no doubt vicious demise, I remain committed and steadfast for I believe their "crimes" were just . I'm aware it will upset a great deal of friends and family, but I must stay true to what I believe... I thought Louis Walsh and the young lads of Westlife were simply just lovely... and now they have left me. Leave them be.

So, as I pick tenderly through the shredded remnants of my heart after the loss of a truly revolutionary alignment of people, nay, heroes, let me offer you a glimpse at salvation in the form of bass music to help keep a fire burning in your soul and your face toward the sun in these dark, dark times (fucking winter clocks going back)

If you've been paying attention to Greensleeves Records in the past 12 months then you'll hopefully have spotted the gradual rolling out of a dubstep remix series of 12" singles. If you missed this because you were tied up trying to slide into your skinny chinos or learning how to do up the odd coloured laces on your Vans shoes fear not! They've just rolled out the Dubstep Chapter 1 CD, compiling 14 remixes from their extensive back catalogue, partnering reggae artists both old and new with some of dubstep's finest creators. Toasting legend Admiral Bailey's classic dance starter 'Jump Up' gets an appropriately excitable reworking courtesy of Terror Danjah, Digital Mystikz resident troublemaker Coki takes Busy Signal & Mavado's 'Badman Place' to an altogether subterranean setting with a militant drum track, air raid synth lines and a throbbing sub pressure that makes for a listening experience that may just possibly be described as stressful (which is probably a positive). Personal highlights for me however are Horsepower Productions hyperactive steppas style rework of the nigh on unpronounceable 'Zungguzungguguzungguzeng' by DJ'ing original Yellowman and Deep Medi regular Goth-Trad's haywire retuning of Pampidoo's already pretty deranged 'Synthesizer Voice'. You can also find V.I.V.E.K, Kromestar & Cluekid amongst others on their grind helping to reconnect the now somewhat hazy dots between dub, reggae and dubstep. Educational and danceable. A bit like Ice Cube's 'How To Survive In South Central.'

Kuedo, formerly one half of original dubstep duo Vex'd, saw the release of his debut album Severant through Planet Mu last week, and it is nothing short of beautiful. Stepping away from the dubstep sound more or less entirely the piece takes a seat somewhere in the realms of hip-hop and a cinematically painted electronica and carries a truly unique sound through its application of tightly syncopated drum sequencers laced delicately around analogue synthesizers and modern sub-bass techniques. Blade Runner and the other synth heavy works of artists like Vangelis are an obvious point of reference and it also carries an alien quality not unlike some of Ryuichi Sakamoto's ambient synth compositions, albeit through a thoroughly contemporary hip-hop filter. A full review of the album should be up within the next few days so I'll not harp on any further here. Kuedo also appeares alongside DMZ's other bigwig and Deep Medi chieftain Mala on the King Midas Sound remix 12" ahead of the full remix album 'Without You' both available on Hyperdub. If you missed the original Midas album Waiting For You from 2010 please stop making excuses and start getting acquainted with that and the new remix project as both are some of the finest music to be released through Hyperdub thus far, and with releases from the likes of label owner Kode9, Burial and Zomby in it's back catalogue you can be assured that that is high praise indeed of the King Midas Sound.

Bridging neatly from that remix project to the final entry in this week's memorial service selection of tunes is the latest drop courtesy of Deep Medi. a label I may just start putting in here without actually bothering to listen to they're becoming that reliable. Off the back of last week’s Babylon Fall EP by Goth-Trad is relative newcomer Commodo's first 12" for the label. A side 'Uprising' is a high pressure slice of ethereal chanting and tense percussion patterns of a succinctly tribal flavour that ebbs on a wave of near constant sub rumble creating something of a low-end loaded chamber music which really is a truly immersive sound. On the flip comes the lumbering beast 'Saracen' which finds a stomping sub / percussive shuffle combo locking horns with sheering wobbles and stabbing synth keys destined to make heads nod like Gregorian Chanters on a Sunday if you do feel the uncontrollable urge to storm Louis Walsh's campervan and demand the release of a Westlife retrospective let this 12" be your auditory battering ram! However, please refrain from physical violence if you happen meet heavy resistance from Louis and The Boys: Kian bruises like a peach bless him...