When I caught myself playing Minesweeper yesterday evening I knew I had taken procrastination to a whole new level. A day and a little more disgust for a game I’d probably never beat later I have ceased fleeing and am prepared to say what needs to be said: there’s a new Hybris EP on Dispatch, but it’s not exactly what one would expect. The Gravitron EP starts with its title track, and even though the subs roll thick and nicely and there’s some emotional subtlety involved, measure Gravitron against Hybris’ usual standard and you must conclude that this rather uneventful series of sounds amounts to little more than a pretty and boring tune – tough I suppose it will do quite nicely in a club. About the same applies for the upcoming Understand Now, a track whose intro’s synths made me think of Photek’s classic Minotaur and that is all in all not bad, but note the vagueness of its compositional cohesion and the arbitrariness of its at times too disparate layers and you’ll know what I mean: it just doesn’t really fit together. However, there is a sense of searching to this tune, a flair of (slightly haphazard, but still) evolution that fortunately grows stronger in the chain of this EP’s events. Losing It -sampling Mobb Deep’s Just Step Prelude just as Spor did on his ’05 track Lose It– is considerably more whole and has a nice drive to it; but the undisputed centrepiece of this EP is the fantastic Uproot, a supermassive blend of gritty bass-pulses, old-school cymbal haze and tinkling melody shards, whose gesture -if you will- resembles a deep version of Calyx & Teebee’s Nothing I Can Say and might even be called Hybris’ best work thus far. The digital version of the EP comes with the bonus track Head to Toe, an interesting breakventure into the far reaches of the 140s, not particularly essential but entertaining tough, and perhaps another clue that this solid, sometimes great, but measured against its expectations at times mediocre EP is but the advent of Hybris’ journey into the unknown.
Hybris – The Gravitron EP (Dispatch Recordings)
This week’s second item is the Aknowledge compilation from Structured Music, out of which I chose two tunes that particularly caught my attention: The first one is Jason Campbell alias Jay Mythix’ debut and definitely makes him a future name to watch: his track Forsaken mingles a deep and playful approach of sub and drums with some creaking Ed Rush basses and a taste for style, progression and subtle funk; and is -tough devoted to simplicity- a tense and atmospheric ride through tearing basses and open scapes. nScape’s contribution picks up that alien didgeridoo vibe where Phace left it whilst generally laying low, i.e. relying on sub-pressure and thumping drums to do the trick. Frozen Space is basically an ever-thickening continuum of sounds, culminating in outbursts of breaks and a vast sonic valley of -well, alien didgeridoo stuff. But that’s cool.
Jay Mythix, 2Sides, Kije, Sk4nz, nScape, Matt Pulsar, NFR, Exit 9 – Aknowledge EP (Structured Music Recordings)