From the heady days of pirate radio, Rinse has come a long way. The station-come-record label has seen it all, the shifting tastes and flavours of the UK underground swirling around it. From garage, grime and dubstep to house and techno, with UK funky in-between, Rinse has been ubiquitous, mapping out generations of progression amongst artists and genres.
The label’s development has followed in a similar manner, a resolutely bass-heavy discography being it’s only constant. That all changed in 2012 with King Krule, who dropped a surprise single via the label, followed bizarrely by Essex indie rockers States Of Emotion. Although not quite on the same scale, the signing of Nathan Johnson aka Hrdvsion represents another deviation away from the labels comfort zone. Perhaps a reaction to the UK’s recent paradigm shift towards more straightforward house and techno, ‘I Like The Feeling You’re Giving Me’ presents four tech-house tracks that rely on a combination of melodic romanticism and uneasy, jittering precision that has it’s roots in minimal.
The EP’s title track and opener is a solid start – an ascending acidic bassline holds things down, underpinned by a sturdy rhythm section. Over the top, melodic drones expand across the surface like sonic stars. ‘Apocalypse 6’, meanwhile, operates at a more languid pace. Things do get slightly monotonous here, however, the rhythm’s variation getting old fairly quickly, and with little to get excited about sonically.
Things pick up for the EPs third and penultimate track ‘Feel Your Fading’. Sharp, rapid percussion offsets an unsettling but engaging vocal sample, with some strong synth interplay to keep things unpredictable. It’s high energy and impresses not only with its functionality but also with its artistic endeavor. We round things off with the minimalist ‘Barcelona’, which flickers between relentless chugger and harmonious dreamer.
It should be said that Hrdvsion’s music does get under your skin, no question, and with such a fine line between the emotive melodies utilized here and the hammier, over the top variants, The Canadian producer and his EP has to be commended.