V/A: Spectrum – Red EP [ INNAR038 ]
The second installment of our Spectrum series, the Red EP, is even more international than the first. We begin in America, with the Vocal VIP remix of Mike G‘s ‘Trap Shore Ha’, evoking ritual confrontation on the dancefloor: staccato shouts are absorbed into a mesmerisingly repeated vocal refrain, while delayed synth chords form a refrain on the off-beat that give this tune a subliminal depth of rhythm, while the beat drops in a flurry of skittering hats, militant snares and a skewed kick-drum tattoo against a tactile field of sub bass. Australian duo HyperColour take us onto even more anarchic terrain with ‘Fool’s Gold’: a mêlée of sirens, demented discords and decontextualised vocal samples form a dark carnival of sound, riding a massive steampunk locomotive of rhythm, powered by the thick blasts of bass buzzing through its pistons, propelled unstoppably forward on great wheels of lurching breakbeat. Then a cool-down with ‘Abstract Thoughts’ by British producer Cato, accompanying his characteristically clipped snares with reverb-soaked brushed hats, and a series of minor-key trills evoking the rarefied serenity of Oriental instrumentation, while the lead synth takes us from Far East to west, with a purple funk line reminiscent of late 00s Bristol. The EP closes out in the Netherlands with Christopher Yikes‘ spectral style projected onto the vast canvas of ‘Abandoned’: a great ocean liner, mysteriously vacated like the Marie Celeste, left to steam ahead under its own power, undergirded by massive subsonic propulsion interlocking with a kick drum pounding out a broken techno-dubstep 4/4 rhythm, surging forward through an ocean of reverb, while heavily processed keys play a fragmented lament for the vessel’s lonely cybernetic soul. Bass without borders.