A lot of mainstream media's main job as what I call a futureshock absorber is to maintain a homeostasis, maintain traditional and inherited rules of melody over harmony, beats over rhythm, beats over melody, to maintain matters in terms of proper music, or true music, or respectable music - and that's always a way in which people try and hierarchize the body. Part of my big thing is to talk about dance music simultaneously as a kinaesthetic and a headmusic, because it tends to be both . As soon as you listen to dance music at home, its repetitiveness becomes headmusic-Iike. I've never understood why they can 't be both, why they aren't the same thing.
Experiencing music for me increasingly resembles bodyboarding in the Black Atlantic. Much like the nation-state, the senses are presented to us as independent of one another. We don't smell with our ears, do we?
Wait, do we? When I see my father cutting up the veggies for one of his bomb-ass curries, the still-virtual aromas bombard my embodied memories. When I 'hear' bangers I've slept on--Chief Keef's "Citgo," anyone?--my body erupts into a mountain range of goosebumps, reverberating the frequency assault across all senses known and unknown.
As anyone who has scoped this site before surely knows, I'm deeply affected by the 'body music' coming out of the UK from the space once occupied by yet another 'post-' genre (dubstep in this case). The unwillingness to be boxed in by genre, BPM, or form while adhering to the most simple yet revolutionary of music-making concepts--sick beats, dope bass, and breathtakingly immerse sound design--is something I wish I heard far more than is the case.
And while I've certainly done my best to document the various operators in this amorphous space, it brings me endless delight to learn of two new artists who are bringing their own unique voices to an abstract scene that prioritizes artistic singularity.
Toma Kami - Sharp Tool in the Shed/Land of the Insane (Livity Sound 2018)
Boasting yet another tingles-inducing feat of color matching, the third Livity heater of 2018 takes the melodic madness of Facta and Via App's tasty platters and dips them in a vat of manic hand percussion. Ford's A&R sensibility of late has shown a taste for tracks with plenty of left turns and "Sharp Tool in the Shed" does not disappoint in this regard, kicking off with a hovering percussive intro that soon descends into a neon-tinted electro thump. A single two-chord pattern holds the double-time drums in place, dropping out to let them wander out into the hinterlands before roping them back in for a steak-and-potatoes din-din. "Land of the Insane" opens on the type of emotionally pensive motif that has characterized the label's CMYK output as of late, the hand drums used more as punctuating propulsion as the producer modulates the frequencies just so. By the time those sixteenth-note high-hats enter, the track hits a wonderfully vexing cul-de-sac, refusing to go airborne and instead ruminating on the themes introduced so far, a metallic yawn threatening to envelop the mix, which instead marinates in the corner, begging the DJ to do the heavy lifting of pushing things to the next episode. Both are truly excellent and unexpected delights that never quite do what you want them to...and that's kinda the point, innit?
OK, considering how fucking fire this EP is, let's dispense with the silliness first. When I first saw the name Truska, I thought it was a joke. In a scene where one-to-two syllable single names are all the rage--Truska sounds like a mash-up of Laksa, Lurka, Tessela, right?!--thank god I was lucky to hear a tune of this young new producer's before learning of his name as I could easily have not given him the time of day (hey, never said I wasn't shallow). But having been introduced to his sound via the sensually slamming two-step (but not) of A2 track "Intra," all I cared about was finding out the soul behind one of the most beatific bangers I've heard in a second.
And though I don't have much to share on the biography front, I can't praise this EP enough. While the Hodge remix of A1 "Lucid" rightfully screams "co-sign," the three tracks that precede make a painfully strong case for keeping an eye upon this young gun. The title track opens with an intricately-assembled intro, all truncated breaks and blistering silence before the chaos clears to let burst a subtle burp of a bass drop loose that called to mind a more lowkey version of Gaunt's "SP12." It's all about nuance, innit? Following the luscious spider-bass stylings of "Intra," "Fervour" on the B1 provides an 8-minute insight into Truska's world, riding a Headhunters-lite martial high-hat through a vast wilderness of bleeps, bloops, and bass. Truly top-shelf club abstractions. UK techno badman supreme Hodge wraps up the EP with an exceptionally marginal cut that sees him eliding the 4beat in favor of something infinitely more embodied. Steadily ratcheting up the stakes for two minutes, he drops his full house with one of the more subtly devastating drops I've heard in a hot second, the topline descending like a scud missile around his anxiety-inducing kick pattern. A very promising debut from a new voice that demands to be experienced.