Hound Scales – ‘Pinky Violence EP’ (Fifth Wall)

Its genuinely hard to believe that it was only in April of last year that Broklyn’s Fifth Wall launched with the release of Hound Scale’s ‘Case (Nabis)’ EP. Thirteen vinyls deep has seen the labels discography and partiality veer towards Jungle and lo-fi House, with Fifth Wall displaying the ability to transcend the trap of genre specificity successfully, without the loss of integrity.

5Wall014 comes in the way of Hound Scale’s third release on his and Divvorce’s label, ‘Pinky Violence’. The name is another term for exploitation and action films with female protagonists, often overtly sexual. The press releases states the EP is a ‘Lunch lady appreciation record’ and comes with a list of artistic and revolutionary heroes, along with the statement ‘mother fuck Mark Wahlberg.’ With the scene set and the statement made, ‘Princip (Rubble Dub 1)’ kicks off proceedings in the style that has very much become Hound Scales’ trademark. Grained out sidechained textures with soulful vocal loops against a coarse rhythmic backdrop. hypnotism is provided by the one-note mid bass throbbing and reaching peaks in between programmed kicks. Along with the aforementioned vocal, the tracks is punctuated by what sounds like one-shot vocal stabs from beatboxer Rahzel. What intrigues about Hound Scale’s work is the effective amalgamation of elements that would otherwise seem foreign within the blueprint of rugged and blunt Techno.

Track two ‘Spahnners (Rubble Dub 2)’ encapsulates the producer’s venture in to new territory. Arguably the most musical and melodic track of his to date, ‘Spahnners’ is in keeping with the stylistics he embraces – paradoxically employing textural appropriation. Rhythmic prowess is maintained by metallic factory-like percussive layers and drums. On remix duty is Tuff Sherm aka Dro Carey. His rendition utilises the sound of dog barks and duck quacks as well as overdriven manipulation of the original elements. The groove-centric version deploys forthright percussive elements and tribal textures.

‘Youth Series (Rayon Dub 1)’ is refreshingly presented in minimal broken-beat format. Sharp percussive hits pitter patter across a landscape of jarring bitcrushed blankets. The subtlety of melodic elements and synth pulses create a baleful and sinister post-apocalyptic atmosphere, complimented by a sense of serene acceptance. Utilising a similar ambience is closer ‘Superior (Raylon Dub 2)’. The glassy percussion and synth pulses occupy the same space within a comparatively forceful groove. Mysterious vocal lines flirt with a narrative always slightly incomprehensible. The sensation is an introspective one, contemplating the ‘horrible acts you can commit with your mind.’

The use of found sound in such a blunt manner coalesced with conventional skeletons is an invigorating aspect of Hound Scale’s work. ‘Pinky Violence’ comes across as a concept EP when listened to linearly, though isolated the tracks wouldn’t sound of of place in more esoteric DJ sets. The release is testament to the producer’s ability to consistently maintain originality whilst running one of the most interesting and distinctive labels around. Nurturing the talent of others obviously hasn’t hindered his ability to hone in on his musical strengths.

‘Pinky Violence’ is released on the 8th of July on Fifth Wall. Pre-order your copy here.

Manveer Roda

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