Jim Coles and Travis Stewart’s recent transatlantic experiments combining footwork and jungle rhythms caught the ears of many in 2011, as that years breakthrough Chicago sound was combined with one of the UK’s most startling electronic musical genres to date.
With the formers Philip D. Kick free EP trilogy, and the latter’s exemplary ‘Rooms’ album ending the year atop of many an end of year poll, the two producers, as Om Unit and Machinedrum respectively, have been forging ahead with a sound that is both unfamiliar and distinct, yet also commonplace and at times almost stereotypical. Bridging a gap between the two genres, messrs Coles and Stewart takes all the required ruggedness of the UK’s classic soundsystem output, cutting it with the skipping, looped-up energy of the current trend in Chicago’s ghetto-house lineage to pursue their own highly kinetic space on the dancefloor.
A side ‘B Free’, a mixture of euphoric morphing synths, rattling percussion, punchy 808 kicks and snares and pitched up diva vocals sets the tone nicely before a crushingly direct bassline around the one minute mark drops the dance into all out terror mode. On the flip you’ll find ‘Give A Lil Luv’, which takes Nookie’s ’92 hardcore anthem ‘Give A Little Love’ and reshapes it into the sort of lights on, end-of-session epiphany that we’ve all had at least once. A classic (for those of a certain age) Lisa Stansfield vocal loop winds about jittering 808 low-end work and reshuffled neon keys whilst an array of amens curve in and around the track, making this the all out stand alone prodcution on offer here, and without doubt, one for the junglists.
Closer ‘Set It’ is a tightly wound affair, where an ’88 era spaceage intro leads into a flurry of gunshot effects, soul and reggae samples, kick n’ slump jungle breaks and toe-tapping, knee-jerking footwork inflections sitting atop of a rubberband bassline that wouldn’t go amiss in a classic rave cut from the likes of Dr. S. Gachet.
Readymade for the pull up, the ‘Reworkz’ EP is likely to be lapped up by ravers, dismissed by misty-eyed purists and overly-hyped by the blogosphere, yet the release not only reshapes and flexes the perceived boundaries of two seemingly distant genres, but manages to compound a thousand fleeting club experiences into just under fifteen minutes listening pleasure. Tailor made for anyone who’s ever felt at home on a dance floor.
The ‘Reworkz’ EP will be released Planet Mu on March 26.