These are grim times for dance — oh hell, for everyone. I am struggling with a few relatively minor things myself, but making this mix was unadulterated fun. I hope you enjoy listening to it. NB I make no apologies for back-to-back tracks from Inna Nice Up Fashion!, which you should go get right now. The ragga jungle revival starts here!
Itï¿½s unspeakably bizarre that these two albums should land in my inbox at the same time ï¿½ so similar, different and perfectly complementary. Matthewdavidï¿½s Outmind and 2562ï¿½s Fever are twin poles that bookmark what seems to be happening in this world I find myself immersed in; not that I know what to call it. But between them is a definition, and a pretty clear one.
Smog, Blade Runner, post-industrial decay: Matthewdavid is a champ at evoking all these things, sometimes simultaneously. Pitchfork sez heï¿½s an LA producer/label owner/friend-of-FlyLo. Without any audio to base it on, youï¿½d think Outmind, his debut LP, would sound a lot like the LA beat stuff thatï¿½s already out there, and to be sure, former Dublab.com intern Matthew McQueenï¿½s not remaking the beat world in his own image. But his album Outmind is a triumph anyways, because it unites two strains of electronic listening music ï¿½ the hard Dilla-esque kicks and finger snaps, and also the smouldering, stretched ambient tones that sound like theyï¿½re being played through broken filters. Itï¿½s all about melodic haze, fog, the sense that whateverï¿½s in the air is somewhere between a solid and a liquid, maybe a chemical, youï¿½re not sure. You might have caught a contact high already.
Fever is exactly what it sounds like. Maybe too much. Dutch producer Dave Huismansï¿½ 2562 alias had already been attached to numerous albums, notably the more four-four-oriented Unbalance, but Fever is a bit of a departure even from that relatively sparse (one might say minimal) collection. Itï¿½s dubstep-influenced without being strictly dubstep, though one thing it has in common with a lot of the genre is that itï¿½s very funky, but almost completely unmelodic; everything is a percussion sound, from the bass to the samples/synths to the funny drum machine blips. ï¿½Unmelodicï¿½ isnï¿½t a synonym for ï¿½unlistenableï¿½; in fact itï¿½s catchy as hell, but Fever does it without ever touching down in the pillowy depths that trickle and run through Outmind like detergent and water through a load of laundry. Feverï¿½s an itch, one that makes you want to scratch so hard, you leave a nasty mark.