Arctic – ‘Shook’/’Know This Don’ (Coyote)

South London’s Coyote Records has had quite a year. For a label that emerged from the Grime underground a little over a year ago, the success and kudos it has already received belies its young age. Having already put out a slew of storming releases in its young exsitence, Coyote continue on their run of London centric, urban bass experimentations with Australian newcomer Arctic’s Eski influenced ‘Shook EP.’

Sharing the same sense of adventure and fun as one of 2012’s breakout Grime stars, Bloom, Arctic delivers two impeccable original cuts backed up by an otherworldly, almost beatless, electronica remix of the titular ‘Shook’ by Seattle based “atmospheric bass” producer Kid Smpl.

‘Shook’ kicks things off, with fractured, mutating, almost half time rhythms weaving in amongst acid edged bass twangs, disembodied vocal samples, and curious, syncopated melodic elements and sound effects that join together to push the track forward in a strange, non-linier way. It sort of stumbles along, in an exciting drunken fashion, once more showing why Grime has become such a vital breeding ground for adventurous music over the course of the last year or so.

‘Know This Don’ hits much harder than ‘Shook’, with grimey, highly evolved, stepper based drum tracks combining with Eski bass vamps that morph between held, sublow, drone notes and stabs that work in unison with the track’s rhythm, in the process creating a dirty, skanky number drawing on influences from all over the Bass Canon and beyond.

The remix of ‘Shook’ by Kid Smpl, as intimated, is an ambient reworking of the original that sounds like it has been constructed out of a completely different sample pack than Arctic’s version. The juxtaposition of the hard, experimental Grime prevalent on the two tracks preceding the remix, with the beatless , classically inclined work that Kid Smpl has imagined is a really refreshing touch, giving the EP a foothold in the armchair market as well as on the dancefloor.

All in all, ‘Shook’ is a great listen and a must for fans of experimental bass music as a whole as well as hardened grime aficionados and urban music fanatics. If Coyote continue to release records with as much longevity, vivacity and vigour as they have done so far, a long, bright future for the label is sure to follow.

‘Shook’/’Know This Don’ is out June 24.

Al Kennedy