If electronic music aficionados from the future were to travel back to 2011 to find out where dance was at, then most fingers would surely point in the direction of the Night Slugs family. L-Vis 1990 and partner in bass Bok Bok have given the club music template a serious kicking over the last two years with a series of distinctive sounding and similarly designed 12 inches. Alongside core clan members, Jam City, Kingdom and Egyptrixx, the two have bent club systems into a series of deviant new shapes. Not only do their sounds give the dance a thorough roughing up, but simultaneously push the envelope ever-forward. The location of this fresh science lies somewhere in the nocturnal waters between Niche-esque bassline, grime, house and techno – but what keeps the Night Slugs sound so vital is its constant mutation – the imprint is defined best by its refusal to be pigeon-holed, which makes releases from any of its clan pant wettingly exciting…
The obtusely-named ‘Bible Eyes’ is the first artist album proper from the label and Egyptrixx, Night Slugs’ Canadian representative. David Psutka is the man behind the mask and draws on a wide pool of influences to fuel his music – yet, despite the staggering range of electronic styles on offer, the songs hang beautifully together as a full length record which melds dreamlike drones with plenty of upfront tackle to mind melting effect.
The doom-laden ‘Start From The Beginning’ throws down the gauntlet with human groans and cymbal crashes before the title track swoops in. It arrives armed with tightly clipped percussion and horse tranquiliser synth drops – it’s off kilter, but imminently danceable. ‘Liberation Front’ is pure drone house and blends a valium haze with enough crisp pressure to cause something, somewhere to break. Naples is a throbbing, dissonant banger with a scythe like edge while ‘Recital (a.version)’ is more melodic, stripped back techno. But perhaps best of all is ‘Chryalis Records’. Featuring vocals from Maya of Trust it’s the most accessible moment on the whole record. Egyptrixx winds a girl group vocal around a slow-mo, UK funky beat through a shoe gazing haze – It’s uplifting, insanely infectious and not quite like anything else out there – which is indicative of both the artist and label’s oeuvre.
If you’re expecting Egyptrixx’s debut record to come bursting with straight up club smashes, then you’ll be taken aback. Certain moments from the ten tracks on display could bring down the roof of a rave but rather than relying on bass heavy skronk, it’s a fusion of space, percussion as well as night and light which hit the aural nail on the head. Egyptrixx deals in soaring, contemporary rhythmical rave which has enough imagination to push the benchmark for both him and Night Slugs even higher.
‘Bible Eyes’ is out now on Night Slugs Records.