Various Artists (DJ Bowlcut / Sandile / Nubian Mindz / Half Nelson) - Excursions #5

£6.66

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Phuture Shock Musik

Released 7th September 2018

Next up for Bristol’s Phuture Shock is the fifth instalment of ‘EXCURSIONS’ – via its vinyl-only, ‘Anything goes’ offshoot, Phuture Shock Excursions. Functioning in a similarly eclectic vein as previous V/A issues, ‘EXCURSIONS #5’ presents four genre-hopping cuts - spanning the outer realms of electro, house, techno and broken beat - courtesy of an international roster made up of both up-and-coming and established talent from across the dance music underground.

On board for this latest venture is South Korean DJ/producer DJ Bowlcut, a rising talent and prominent figure of Seoul’s blossoming underground electronic scene, whose career has swiftly gathered pace over the last year. Having debuted with 2017’s ‘Colmena’ EP on local label Honey Badger Records, he’s since racked up a growing number of compilation singles via fledgling imprints including Nerang and Neo Violence. Another relative newcomer with strong promise arrives in the form of Cologne-based producer and DJ Sandilé, here making her debut outing on vinyl, following a handful of digital releases on various labels within her hometown. While signaling a third appearance on the imprint and needing little introduction is bass music veteran Nubian Mindz, offering up his first new material in almost 18 months. And last but not least is Bristol’s experimental beat-smith and composer William Yates aka Memotone, here operating under his dancefloor-leaning guise Half Nelson - a side project that came about last year with a 12” on London’s Breaker Breaker.

Taking the helm on side A is DJ Bowlcut with ‘Aurora Borealis’, an electro-inspired ode to the natural phenomena of the Nordic skies which lends the track title its name; where glacial synth hooks and spectral voice pads interplay against a backdrop of ethereal soundscapes that swirl around skittering hi-hats and muscular beats with an added lo-fi edge. Sandilé takes the reins on the A2 cut with the curiously titled ‘Not Drum & Bass’, a sprightly deep house roller, built around glimmering, jazzy keys and bright synth stabs, anchored by UKG-imbued four to the floor drums and the kind of deep, pulsating subs that suggests an ironic doff of the cap to the genre that the track title alludes to. On the flip things take a more experimental turn, where first up dwells the futuristic bass oddity ‘Madcap Voxist’ from Nubian Mindz; which straddles the borders of bruk, techno, bashment and UK funky through a roving-b-line, filtered piano stabs and crisp, syncopated snares interposed between bleepy electronics, and an onset of guttural rumblings from what might be an extraterrestrial species lurking beneath the surface. Reprising the sci-fi narrative and closing the disc is the sludgy, mid-tempo stomp of Half Nelson’s ‘Alien Future’, where choppy hi-hats and frail 4/4 kicks chug their way through nebulous textures, before converging with a deluge of squelchy, analogue bass and an oscillating synth pattern intent on causing mass disorientation. In short, the soundtrack to a post-apocalyptic vision where aliens have invaded planet earth as we know it and wiped out all human existence.

a1. DJ Bowlcut – Aurora Borealis

a2. Sandile – Not Drum & Bass

b1. Nubian Mindz – Madcap Voxist

b2. Half Nelson – Alien Future