Pangaea – ‘Viaduct’ (Hadal)

Kevin McAuley (Pangaea), one third of the mighty Hessle Audio triumvirate, announced earlier last month that he was launching a new vinyl imprint “Hadal” to release his next slew of singles, the first of which is ‘Viaduct’.

Purifying and refining the sounds and ideas he first dabbled with on his last release ‘Release’ – a genre bending melting pot of garage, techno and general raw experimentations – ‘Viaduct’ sees McAuley exploring the heady hinterland between bass music and techno, but rather than flirting with more grimey notions. He dives headfirst into the wiggy world of hardcore and electronica in the process creating the record Zomby was threatening to do a few years ago.

‘Viaduct’ launches you straight into the action, no faffy introductions, no uninspiring ambient noodles, just straight up beefy drums, filter zaps and old school breaks. The track is so expertly mixed together that to single any element out from the mix is nigh-on impossible, so cogent a whole the track is. The bass-cum-melody is retro sounding and alien, but only stays around for a brief amount of time before the track morphs and twists out of recognition held together only by the omnipresent drum tracks and hiss of analogue equipment.

‘Mission Creep’ like its predecessor takes no time to get into the swing of things, its mountainous kick drums and reversed samples bossing proceedings from the start. Choppy vocal samples add a current twist to the hard, industrial tinged techno McAuley peddles on this track. It is unrelenting, hypnotic and wouldn’t feel out of place in a Surgeon set.

‘Razz’ finishes the EP in distinct Rephlex style. A wistful, cheap sounding melody line takes to the fore, reminiscent of something Aphex Twin and υ-Ziq may have included on ‘Melodies From Mars’, before being replaced by speedy, braindance indebted, tom heavy drum lines, marking Pangaea’s will to revisit the past without sounding derivative.

It’s a good record and a very refreshing, different listening experience compared to other things out on the market at the moment. Highly recommended.

Hadal001 is out on June 3.

Al Kennedy