It’s never pleasant seeing grown men cry – but when pioneering dubstep duo Vex’d went their separate ways, it was occasion for a bit of a weep. Many an ‘ardcore IDM nut bawled their eyes out and chose, perhaps for the first time to reach for the Kleenex rather than the Vicks. Since their split in 2007, the realms of underground computer music has moved onwards and upwards in directions their trail blazing productions pre-empted.
Thankfully for those still in mourning for the passing of Vex’d, it’s time to dry your eyes mate. Jamie Vex’d, one half of the gruesome, speaker breaking twosome, has remained with Planet Mu and as Kuedo, has arguably started making some of the most thrilling music he’s put his name to. From the ashes of his previous pairing, this Bristolian-cum-Berliner has chosen to avoid a straight revisiting of his past. Instead he’s opted to head down a musical avenue that is as tripped-out and experimental as it is abrasive and tough.
‘Videowave’ is his third EP under the Kuedo moniker thus far, and sounds like a producer at his peak, flexing some serious muscles when it comes to his creative powers. He still shows off enough brute force to crush your skull, but wraps it in a kaleidoscopic sheen of purple in line with the likes of Hudson Mohawke, Rustie and Lone.
The highlights are numerous – ‘Take Off Remix’ kicks off proceedings by kicking down the door with a synthesised bulldozer. Initially brewed up as a rerub for Slugabed there was so little of the original left from the studio session wreckage it became a Kuedo tune in its own right. And as an opening salvo it sets a suitably unruly bar for the EP with half step drums and electronic neon showers pouring down. The Illum Sphere remix of his untouchable ‘Starfox’ track puts a muzzle of bubbles and strings on the original, offering something more likely to grimace at you rather than rag your eyes and ears. Warp’s Chris Clark straps ‘Glow’ to his back and treats it to a deep sea dive. Heterotic’s ‘Shutter Light Girl’ was conceived in the half-light and continues the claustrophobic, cosmic swirls.
But EP closer ‘Oh’ is perhaps the one – balancing a luscious, twitching synth with abstract electronics it sounds like the sort of tackle b-boys of the future will be shaking to. For those still lamenting the demise of Vex’d, it’s time to get a grip and be sad no more – Jamie Teasdale is making some of the best music of his career – this is a triumph from start to finish.
The ‘Videowave’ EP is released via Planet Mu on July 4.