If there’s one label that can be said to encapsulate the futuristic sounds of sounds of UK bass music without pandering to transient hype, it’s London’s Hemlock Recordings. The label, founded by Untold, has been behind some of the finest electronic releases of the last few years, with artists like Fantastic Mr Fox, James Blake, Ramadanman, Cosmin TRG and Guy Andrews on its roster.
Following his debut for the label, ‘Scruff Box’ / ‘Get Yourself Together’, next month sees Randomer’s second release for Hemlock, a 12” of three characteristically muscular tracks.
‘We Laugh, We Scream’ hinges on a manic acid synth and the vocal sample that gives the release its name: “We laugh, we scream, we fuck a lot, we dance a lot, we drink a lot…” It’s the most infectious of the three tracks, and its hedonistic message will no doubt resonate on dancefloors in coming months. While it’s hardly subtle, its relentless percussive stabs and shifting dynamics make for a track that’s as fun as it is brutal.
‘Nar’, apparently “a timely response to the proliferation of industry ‘Yes men’” punches you in the gut in the best possible way. Its spare vocal sample, string hook and visceral percussion are a refreshing antidote to 2012’s proliferation of lazy, cheesy Blawan copyists and their gritty, ultimately forgettable productions. With its eerily whispered vocals, weird gasps and compelling groove, ‘Nar’ packs all the explosive menace of the best grime tracks.
‘Freak Dub’ is described as “If Dillinja made house?”, which is actually pretty spot on. Industrial, febrile percussion is coupled with a pumping groove; the result is slightly deranged and more than redolent of Randomer’s roots in the frenetic sounds of drum’n’bass.
With releases on Hospital Records, Hessle Audio and Numbers, to name only a few, Randomer’s no newcomer to the scene, but his darkly percussive music seems to have found a spiritual home at Hemlock. An essential single by a producer who will no doubt continue to surprise and impress.
’We Laugh, We Scream’ is out now via Hemlock Recordings.