A1 Bassline – ‘Slur’/’Slingback’ (SOURCEUNKWN)

A producer starting a new label with a 12″ of their own has, over the last year, become increasingly common; and, the record that finally convinces a producer to start a label, has tended to be very good. Julio Bashmore, Breach, Kowton, Jon Convex, Throwing Snow, Bondax and Jacques Greene spring to mind, whilst Joy Orbison & Boddika, and Blawan & Pariah essentially did too. Next up is A1 Bassline, inaugurating his SOURCEUNKWN project with ‘Slur’ b/w ‘Slingback’ – and the trend continues.

‘Slur’ is patient in its build-up. Wooden percussion bounces off distant synth notes, gradually growing in presence towards a drop. The drums then arrange themselves into a smart 4×4 structure and are reinforced by low-end weight and a chopped vocal sample. Nothing complicated so far. Following a short breakdown, the drums return, this time warped with a tubular effect and accompanied by an offbeat ride cymbal. The drum work continues shuffling slightly throughout keeping things interesting, but there’s nothing ground-breaking. ‘Slur’ defines ‘simple-but-effective.’

The flipside, entitled ‘Slingback,’ whilst having a slightly more intricate drum pattern, has the same slow-burning, tech-house feel as ‘Slur.’ A deep, slung groove rolls along punctuated by DJ-friendly mini-breakdowns, each always subtly adding an element. The final product is a bubbling combination of percussion, laced with an unembellished melody, entrancing high-frequencies and an echoing vocal sample. Of the two, ‘Slingback’ is the big room weapon.

Compared to other recent outputs, take his forthcoming ‘Breakaway’ EP on Pets Recordings for example, A1 Bassline takes a stripped-back approach in ‘Slur’/’Slingback.’ It is not by any means a case of ‘playing safe,’ instead a producer taking the boundless opportunity of releasing on his label, and using it to hone a new side to his sound.

‘Slur’/’Slingback’ is out now.

Richard Akingbehin