Recent releases by Benjamin Damage & Doc Daneeka, Throwing Snow and Octo Octa feature in this review collection of 3 Subaltern Soundbites to raise your listening experience with.
Benjamin Damage & Doc Daneeka – They Live!
From a label fathered by the raucous Modeselektor comes an album that is, instead, a mostly pensive, melancholic playoff between ‘UK bass’ and probably every other modern genre you can think of. Songstress Abigail Wyles plays no small role in setting the mood from the get-go with her affecting, submerged murmurs evaporating over ‘No One’.
Equal parts as fragile as a spectral Will Bevan while still packing Quadrant-influenced tenacity, the track signifies its creators’ songwriting panache and versatility. Damage & Daneeka’s refined club-headphone balance finds still greater testament in the celestial luxuriance of ‘Bleach & Penicillin’.
Elsewhere, for those altogether allergic to the intimate, ‘Creeper’ offers some stock dancefloor madness replete with sirens and wild note changes - rounding off an assertive, fluid and altogether satisfying long-player.
01. No One feat. Abigail Wyles
02. Battleships feat. Abigail Wyles
03. Deaf Siren
04. Creeper (Album Edit)
06. Halo feat. Abigail Wyles
08. Elipsis Torment
09. Bleach & Penicillin
Throwing Snow – Too Polite EP
Throwing Snow’s precipitous trajectory to date has been largely helped along by his online positioning as (yet another) ‘one-to-watch’ artist - plus this one claims to write “anything from folk to dubstep”. Questionable choice of words, but here the man shows us he’s no Blake - sorry, flake - with a highly effective trio of understated yet formidable numbers blanketed in his warm, misty-eyed signature. It’s really all about the title track’s homage to classic jungle and rave: get past the deceivingly mild intro, and a phalanx of jagged snare rolls march in to herald a royal rumble of classic London breaks. Potent dancefloor voodoo; try to catch your breath.
03. Too Polite
Octo Octa – Rough, Rugged And Raw
Brooklyn house head Octo Octa gifts us with a half-hour’s worth of live tour jams, flowing silky-smooth from his fingertips. Swinging rhythms, vocal shoegazing and stripped-down acid alike coalesce in a seamless mix for all occasions. Check the chest-deep hypnosis of ‘Blush’, drawing you onto the floor as much as ‘Memories’ invites bedroom submission with its indolent, sultry vibes.
It’s a trim, suave debut album which sounds anything but ‘rough, rugged or raw’ - a title probably intended to complement its distribution on cassette. Sure, it’s a creative call that comes across as fanciful and perhaps even retro-for-the-sake-of. But on its own, and from the comfort of your laptop’s audio-out, this remains a distinctive modern effort well worth the digital download.
01: Forced Nature
02: Shower Nights (Second Chance Mix)
04: Pitch Black
05: Wormhole Move
08: Blush (House Mix)
09: This Day
10: Float Keys