"Bristol–Helsinki EP" is a collaboration between Bristol's Coleco and Helsinki-based Fanu.
Both have a focus on pushing the rhythmically unique, Coleco via his halfstep and footwork influenced productions plus his Inflect label, website and club nights, and Fanu via a rich history of beatsmithery within jungle and its darker and more breakbeat-rhythm-led cousin drumfunk.
Following on from a recent mission statement by Fanu to bring the artistry of breakbeats back to drum and bass, this EP showcases the joy of chopping and rearranging specially hunted breaks, never before seen in drum and bass, including one, for example, from a special Finnish funk 7". It features four tunes that turn away from repeating loops and focus instead on rhythms twisting and evolving uniquely from start to finish in journeys that build to ecstatic crescendos.
The 4-track EP begins on "Inward Tripper", the most meditative of the four, a half-step hallucinogenic wandering through a multitude of organic rhythmic elements and evocative melody slicings that stutter like fractal patterns in and out of attention, held down by a warm, warbling bassline.
The EP then moves into more forceful and erratic territory.
"We Don't Do Neurofunk" makes the statement in its title but follows by example with a deliciously light and funky break, rolling and shifting in a moving landscape. The beat is accentuated and pedestaled by a doomy and boomy detuned bass that builds to an aggressive growl as the beats jerk, contort and thrust their way to climax.
Beginning with the frantic, clanging rides of the "Tighten Up" break amongst frenzied vocal wails, "Triple X" is an exercise in sampledelic dread. The drums speak directly to the body as brutal kicks and a fury of hand drums tell a dynamic tale, moving energetically through eery horror soundscapes.
Finally "Mental Traffic Light" ends the lot on a colourful sci-fi synth line, contorted on a roller coaster journey of jerking beats that has chattering off beat hi hats, clanging monster rides and jabbing snares stuttering through. It ends on a stop-start teasing that perfectly demonstrates the beauty of how the suspense, sustain and release of a well engineered rhythm triggers listeners' cerebral reward centers as well as – if not better than – any drug.
・Art by Coleco
・Words by Lorna Smith of Inflect Bristol (http://www.inflect.co.uk)
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