Low End Lowlife: 31.01.12

It's that time again. Find out what's released this week that will make you boogie on down to the ground. Matthew Bayfield reporting.

Posted on Jan 31st, 2012 in Features and Interviews / By Matthew Bayfield
Low End Lowlife: 31.01.12 If there is one thing the British Isles is a veritable master at creating, other than illiteracy and fat single mums bickering in chip strewn market places, it is iconic sounds. From the luscious works of Byron or Keats, spoken from the lips of a keen spirited young drama student, to the crotchety old barman of a seaside drinking hole who keeps calling me a "little woodstock wanker" because he doesn't have a beard of his own, it always sounds better with a British accent. Musically, we can lay claim to many of the finest sounds ever heard; we gave the world The Beatles, The Stones, popularised low frequency oscillations and, of course, The BeeGees... Besides much like during our Empirical reign (when the days were longer and the gin was stronger) if we find a commodity elsewhere and decide we like it, we just take it and say it was ours all along... Beethoven was English.

Admittedly for every heart breaking nuance in a Richard Thompson song we pump out some bed wetting, emotionally transparent bilge by Chris Martin, or for every heart stopping bass line dispensed by Tempa Records we are subjected to about 53 tracks where Tinie Tempah tells us how many cars, watches and designer arse wipes he can afford since we bought his last piece of dirge, but how will you know you have found heaven if you have not spent a few days in hell? Surely you cannot know your belly is full if you do not understand what it feels to be empty inside?

Anyway, nevermind the bollocks, here's some music to remind you why The Sex Pistols were tuneless shit and Kurt Cobain was a mumbling, dour twat. Enjoy!

Pinch & Distance' collaborative project Deleted Scenes have just dropped their third release, via their self titled label in the form of the ‘Hysteria / Reasons 12"’. I could get thoroughly hysterical and give you twelve reasons why you need the newest skulking 'steppers from this seasoned pair of masters or I could cut it short and tell you that 'Hysteria' is a sullen menace of a bass throb laid down on a skittered set of drum lines, with some of that chamber flavoured paranoia from tracks like 'Knowing' off Distance’ imposing Meanstreak EP of last year whilst meanwhile 'Reasons' is a spacious rhythmic shuffle complete with some almost tribal finger cymbals wrapped in a thickset, smothering bassline showing off some of the style also applied on Pinch's collaborative works with Shackleton in late 2011, which invokes a very real sense of claustrophobia when applied liberally through high grade headphones.

A fresh face whose been making something of a name for himself over the past 12 months is Killawatt(pictured). If you've kept up to date with this column (and if you haven't what the bloody hell is wrong with you) you will be aware he has releases through the likes of Wheel & Deal and Black Box already under his belt, plus a nomination for best new producer in the Dubstepforum awards recently so is clearly a man worth keeping an eye on. This week sees him drop a couple of gems for New Moon Recordings, which, thank the shores of Albion, has nothing to do with the Twilight films franchise. 'Reason To Worry' on the A-side is a dense stomper, with some sinister brass sounds all over it whilst on the flip Killawatt teams up with Thelem for 'Swarf' which has a muscular yet rubbery LFO of the most addictive sound. Not content with just one recommendable release to start the year there is also a 10" available from Box Clever of again, the deep and heavy variant of dubstep. A-side ‘Mantra’ takes some hallucinogenic animal sounds and vocal clippings and peppers them over a tribal rhythm section to create something like an audio companion to an ayahuasca cave adventure whilst on the flip Ipman joins the skirmish to produce 'Schizophrenia' a slightly more upbeat, dare I say, even a bit ravey joint replete with dense, snarling bass and erratic techno stabs. With another collaboration featuring Ipman scheduled over the next couple of weeks on Boka the Killawatt machine is looking busier than Mick Hucknall's paternity lawyer the week after a Simply Red farewell tour, but his creations will probably be substantially more palatable than the seed of the reptilian, ginger housewives choice.

Another team getting busy at the moment is Walsh's Biscuit Factory Records. They've just freshly baked a batch of bass bullying beats (and yes it appears I'm flexing my absurdly alliterated article muscle this week) in the form of the Laxx EP, by the new producer Jamie Churchill a.k.a Laxx. Opening hit 'Warning' is a suitably named piece, as the man's style is heavy, chaotic and aggressive. Coming off something like an air raid, complete with wailing electronics and droning, almost turbine-esque subs its the sort of track the brandy battering Churchill of forties wartime ilk might say had some 'thoroughly splendid low frequency oscillations'. 'Self Destruct' is another mad aural assault of a number, this time more in the synth heavy electro vein of Benga or Kutz, both of whom have also crafted excellent tracks for BFR in the past, but the fortune at the centre of this particular cookie has to be 'Transmission' a surging stomp of a drum line and a scuzzy, guttural bass rhythm occasionally interspersed with frantic clatters of loose percussion rattling all over the shop. It also features a wonderful "wait 'til you see the whites of their eyes" drop... Which is always a fanciful little treat. So if the junior Churchill wants to follow in the bold footsteps of our finest wartime figurehead and spark up a fat something to clog the lungs of himself and everyone within a 20 yard radius he has more than earned it this week. Huzzah! Additionally, if you suffer from a sonic diabetes and need to top up those blood sugar levels, Biscuit Factory is also chucking out a free EP featuring another number from Laxx, and a peek at some other new faces in the form of Farkas' regimented terror rhythm 'Circus March', which is as much fun as it sounds like it will be, and Taiki & Nulight's 'Grotesque' which sinks into a bottomless pit of a sound wonderfully. These boys (or possibly girls, I've no idea of their gender) were recently inked onto dubstep originator Benga's record label, so you can probably go ahead and assume there are big things to come from them too...

If all that isn't enough for you however this week, then I must direct you, with haste, to the wise words of that oak hearted, brandy bashing, bass fiend of a prime minister, and a quote taken from a House of Commons address in April 1918, shortly before he deejayed at a back benchers' birthday: "Enough - Enough is as good as a feast"

... Now bugger off you gannets.

Remember, you can catch the Low End Lowlife substantiating all those horrible rumours you heard about him on Twitter @Lowendlowlife now too my friends!