V/A: Spectrum – Green EP [ INNAR040 ]
The Spectrum series continues: the next chapter, the Green EP, redlines the mixer with four brash dancefloor bruisers. Straight out of the gate, Cato‘s ‘Make It Grimey’ brings the ruckus with a buzzing lead that thrashes back and forth like a dropped fire hose blasting out jets of sound. A spliced vocal snippet declares that ‘whatever I play, it’s got to be…grimey’ and that’s Cato’s watchword for this track: even in the quieter moments, stripped back to off-beat bass stabs and a halfstep, delayed snares echoing in the expanse, there’s a menace lurking in the horror-movie pads, and when that compulsive buzz returns for the second drop, its potency is doubled by a contrasting, detuned twin. Christopher Yikes follows up with ‘Knockout’, a halfstep rattling from a juddering kick to a snare that hasn’t quite faded away when the next one replaces it. Yikes’s attention to detail and atmospheric tension are present, as always, with delayed faucet drips and whispers of shakuhachi, but the writhing spine on which the track’s nervous system is centred is the rasp of that sawtooth bassline. ‘Ain’t Changing’ by John Matrix is all loosely-slung bass, superimposed snares, and lurching, arrhythmic bravado, leaving a trail of splintered hihats in its wake. Finally, we come full circle with Grimace‘s ‘Slew Dem’, the first track ever released on Inna Riddim, with classic reggae vocals riding a heavyweight bassline and rolling halfstep. This EP’s an armoury: choose your weapon.