Keysound’s output has been consistently overwhelming this year – Starkey’s Gutter music with Durrty Goodz on vocal and the terrifying ‘Bullet A Go Fly’ are easily some of the years best grime releases so far. Their next release however harks back to something a little older, though still sounding just as fresh. Grievous Angel offers up two tracks of sheer experimental, garage-centric bliss.
‘Soundclash VIP’ takes the Naptha jungle classic and morphs it to a rolling 2-step garage beat – stripping the original to it’s bare essentials and layering it with fragments of snares and hi-hats. Like a lot of his work it’s hard to pinpoint what the genre is, though there is always something recognizable within his productions. The innovation comes from merging the sounds of all manner of genres and in this case it’s the hands aloft, euphoric vocals and deep bass of Jungle, with some hard-hitting industrial styled garage percussion. This tune is a bit like if you got one of Simon Reynolds’ lectures on the Hardcore Continuum, sped it up and pumped it out through a Funktion One I’m pretty sure it would sound like this.
The flip of this is the Eski-styled ‘Harpy’, a kind of drunken ‘Ice Rink’. There’s a sense of Keysound owners Blackdown and Dusk’s own distinctive sound in this one – though with some seriously purple synth stabs. The percussion on this track is what grips you as it breaks from stop start into that slight garage swing. The off kilter production does nothing but intrigue me for a Grievous Angel project that will be surfacing at the end of this year – Margins Music redux. It’s essentially a remix album of Dusk and Blackdown’s Margin Music (one of last years most essential albums). I can’t wait to see what direction Grievous will take these productions, but if their half as good as this it’ll be more essential than your left leg.