Thursday 22 July 2021

Wonky Weather

Scouting for more little things that I might have missed over the years as potential upcoming sccops which has led me back to my longtime companion Warp Records once again, more specifically that era around the time I started writing the whole Warped History posts. I've mentioned before that while I am intensley proud (if a little embarrased at some of my teenage writing) of that series, I spent so long looking back att he history of Warp that I missed some of the then-new releases. I have obviuosuly since gone on to pick them up in the years since but I figured I'd shine a light on them here.

Kicking off with Rustie, I first heard of Rustie through some Dubstep remixes way back when - imagine my surprise then when Glass Swords drops in 2011 with this wild and almost sickly sweet sugary sound to it. It's one that I always struggle to pin down with one genre as it bounces all over the place across the 13 tracks - but of you're looking for somethin' to chase the blues away, this would be it. Coming back to it now, I could see it being overly obnoxious to some ears, but if I'm being honest that is part of the appeal to me (see also: my love of Eurobeat). We're not talking about a track from the album this time though, instead I've gone for a B-side fron the Ultra-Thizz EP - Dreamzz. While my favourites are still tracks like All Nite or the A-side to this EP, this track does a fantastic job of demoing the Glass Swords ethos but isn't quite as tooth decaying levels of sweet as some of the others. If the thundering kicks and squealing electrics of this one appeal to you, most certainly check out the rest of Glass Swords!

Staying in that same wheelhouse with Hudson Mohawke next. He's gone on to great things in the interim years, but my first real exposure to his work was a combination of the Polyfolk Dance EP and his debut full length for Warp - Butter. Much like Glass Swords it also bounces all over the place during its runtime but feels a little more... unfocused. There are a ton of great sounds and ideas explored here, but they never stick around for very long. But that's a very small complaint in the grand scheme of the album, it's been fun to come back to it 10+ years later and have it sound still as interesting as back then. It's a wild ride to be sure, one that can leave you a little dazed and confused on the other side, but on the way you get some absolutely stonking tunes: from the Sitar infused Rising 5 to what I've picked today with FUSE: the bombastic claps from the intro let you know what you're in for, and that melody is perfect to be 'sung' along to with a heavy slur like we all used to do with Kernkraft 400.

Finally straying a bit from the Wonky side of things with a little FlyLo. The accompanying EPs for Los Angeles are a real treat that I overlooked for a long time, the tracklists are a little misleading at times - while some of the tracks here are as featured on LA (even the ones that have the same titles are sometimes alternate mixes to just confuse things further) - there are tons of B-Sides and alternate mixes on show too. There's some great exploration of the FlyLo sound here too: there are tracks that clearly take influence from the the dubstep and garage of artists like Burial in RobertaFlack (Heart Beat Mix), the second half of Secrets (Refix) goes on a really raw Drum & Bass / Jungle style kick. There's even a bit of vintage FlyLo revival on here too with an 8-bit chiptune rendition of Auntie's Lock/Infinitum closing out the EP.

But I've gone with the slightly unassuming RobertaFlack (Other Mix), a much more hip-hop styled version of the original that brings it more in line with the other big hitters from the album like Parisian Goldfish and Camel, with a little bit of that old school FlyLo 8-bit treatment as well. I played Los Angeles to death around when it came out to the point where I almost got sick of it - but even then I think it might just sneak to the top of my favourite FlyLo production along with the Reset EP (which would have been here as well but its not on Warp's bandcamp for some reason). Maybe it's because I know the main album front to back, but hearing something new in the LA style like this takes me right back to that mindset of when I first heard it. I still have a lot of love for this style, as of right now I'm falling head over heels again for the final minute or so of this one - just plain fantastic work from FlyLo.

And that'll do for this entry, a little busy for the next few days so there might be a bit of a gap again but nothing too extreme. I do have some ideas floating around but the tracks in question might have to be non-bandcamp streamers which is a bit of a pain to work out the embeds and all. But, I suppose I can make do with that just once in a while, we've had a pretty good streak going as of late after all. In the meantime though: as always, Stay safe and enjoy the music.


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