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Album of the Week: Hotflush - Back & 4th

Inspirational dubstep pioneers Hotflush are this week's pick.


By Spotlight


Artist: Various
Album: Back and 4th
Label: Hotflush Recordings
Release Date: 11/04/2011

“You just walk right in”, a filtered diva screams as this huge double-disc collection of new school delights kicks in. Sepalcure’s Taking You There could well summarise the scene nobody seems able to define.

It’s post rave, or neo-club nostalgia. Others call it bass music, which would make some sense if that weren’t such a loose term. Whatever the case it’s a sound born from, but also alongside dubstep; a re-appropriation of old school sentiments presented with 2011 attitude. 

Scuba, Hotflush top boy

These euphoric harmonies, vocal stabs, and style-shifting perspectives have already caused a fresh batch of producers to explode. And rightly so. Take Boddika’s Warehouse for example, a raw, stripped, four-four outing that boasts a synth on springs, bouncing all over the shop, like some child of early acid parentage, excitedly adding new ideas. And a similar thing can be said about cuts from Hot Flush boss Scuba (Feel It), and George FitzGerald (We Bilateral).

Elsewhere though styles are completely contemporaneous. James Blake’s remix of Maybes by Mount Kimbie offers staccato, stripped disco-cum-r‘n’b flourishes. Roska bumbles through bass bins in order to interpret Untold’s Just For You, here realised as a drummy, heads down stepper. And Pangaea dubs it out in the low, rumbling and down right suspenseful liquid breaks outing, Bear Witness.

Those in search of more downbeat moods will also find plenty to embrace. And not just because 135BPM+, set to an off-beat pattern, feels significantly more chilled out than it actually is. See, or rather hear, FaltyDL’s atmospheric Regret, a piece that nods to The Cinematic Orchestra. And Knew You Were The 1, dBridge’s industrial soul experiment, further adds a truly lackadaisical score to the playlist.

Descriptions aside the universal nature of what’s here is the point worth talking about most. Almost everything on these two CDs shares more with classic dance music than, dare it be said, a vast amount of modern techno. It’s not standoffish, nor does it choose to play down the purely hedonistic elements of this culture’s timeless soundtrack. In short, moments abound, whether hands in the air, foot into the floor, or arse on the afterparty couch.

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