Black Box 015 brings together an unlikely pairing of two of the scene’s fastest rising producers – Commodo and Lurka – to bustle their way through a blitzkrieg of blistering 140. Both producers have been hotly tipped off the back of some brilliant tunes and new sonic visions. ‘Airtight’/’Gassin’ sees their two styles come to blows at the perfect intersection between dubstep and techno.
Lurka’s notoriety over the last year has seen releases on both Black Box and Box Clever, and his tunes have seen staunch support from Youngsta. Lurka’s sound lends itself to the halfstep tectonics of desolate streets and urban rot – working in a similar vein to Sleeper, District and Subreachers. His work places strong emphasis on the malleability of controlled mid-range carnage.
After last year’s raveblazing ‘Querky’, which dropped colourfully on Untitled! Recordings, Commodo quietly returned to brief obscurity. In the meantime, anticipation grew as his tunes were slowly surfacing in mixes by Mala, Youngsta and J:Kenzo, and he’s recently been signed to Deep Medi. His techy leanings are ever apparent here, and his snappy rhythmic work heavily influences both tunes, fusing well into the space of Lurka’s dungeon-dwelling aspirations.
‘Gassin’ is a slamming halftime affair, which shakes violently between fierce stabs and a pulsating bassline. Lurka’s trademark torsion grinds through rolling kicks and fidgeting percussion, riding a heavy groove all the way. It’s broken up by shuffling hats and ’96 Dillinja-esque subs. ‘Gassin’ refuses to sit still, and will roll heavily in the club. Its reception as a sure-fire DJ tool is certified, having already been rinsed by the likes of Yunx, V.I.V.E.K and Truth.
‘Airtight’ harks back to the glory days of 2007, borrowing heavily from the LFO work of both Benny Page and Zero G. The anxiety of Commodo’s techy input sends ‘Airtight’ into spasmodic frenzy, jittering away over Lurka’s rock solid drums. It’s held together by a gutter bass flex and a tense compaction. It’s a clever update on jump-up dubstep’s peak, and an advanced realisation of the hype sound.
Both producers bring their own slab of concrete to these riddims, flattering each other through their differences and similarities. Commodo’s percussive freak outs meld well with Lurka’s tightly-knit rhythmic foundations, and add a welcome chunk of dancefloor paranoia. Lurka’s infrared subs are a significant marker of his work, and allow Commodo’s stabs and sawed basslines to run free.
‘Airtight’ and ‘Gassin’ are fitting and surprisingly well-heeled collaborations between two very interesting producers, both courting acclaim in their own right. This huge 12” only furthers Black Box’s reputation as an ardent promoter of dubstep’s next generation. Locked!