Blawan, What You Do With What You Have

[R&S Records]

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This year many producers who operate firmly within the bass continuum have joined in a wholesale appropriation of vintage house music. But while this new release from Blawan is obviously acid influenced, it is paradoxically also one of the more original and compelling releases of the year. Having only released a handful of tracks on R&S and Hessle Audio, Blawan’s reputation has outgrown his modest discography because of the brutal functionality of his sound. His is a playfully aggressive take on the Hessle/Swamp 81 end of bass music that, as anybody who has played his tracks out will testify, fulfill their purpose with complete aplomb.

“What You Do With What You Have” begins with a wildly oscillating vintage acid synth, as a lone voice (recently attributed to Kenny Dixon Jr.) intones that “It ain’t what you got, it’s what you do with what you have, and it ain’t what you do, it’s how you do it.” And here lies the crux: the elements may be familiar — Chicago stabs, primal bass rumble, woodblocks and chopped and screwed vocals, but over the course of five minutes Blawan wrestles them into an arena completely his own. This is a menacing, funky and warped vision of warehouse music that, although stitched together using familiar samples, is rather futurist in outlook. On the flip, “Vibe Decorium” is a still more driving variant on this theme. A white noise drone, hollow woodblocks, cranked drum samples and jitterbug hat pattern drop into a jacking, kinky, bass workout that will satisfy even the most debased floors. This track will test big systems and demands to be played either peak time or (very) after hours. Blawan has thrown down the gauntlet in fine style here, and while neither track is exactly subtle, he makes his point with a devastating purity of intent and finesse of execution.

Henderick AKA Thelonious Funk  on October 6, 2011 at 9:58 AM

I totally agree with you on this review guys. I think this is one of his best releases in my opinion. This is some filthy warehouse music at it’s very best.

Jim BobMcSlaughterhouse  on October 6, 2011 at 2:17 PM


Solid tune. The RA guys & gals only gave this 2.5 out of 5… Reckon they missed a trick there.

Seriously filthy bottom heavy music going on here.

hermione gunn  on October 6, 2011 at 6:54 PM

Yeah, I’m more in line with the RA review, even if they gave this a harsher rating than I thought it deserved. This is decent and I would’ve been excited by it if this was a new producer…but coming from Blawan this seems like a step backwards. The rhythms on the Fram/Iddy & Bohla EPs were what blew me away and What You Do obviously doesn’t match up in that department.

This just sounds like a lesser version of Blawan…still unique, but nowhere near as exciting.

Henderick AKA Thelonious Funk  on October 10, 2011 at 1:58 PM

I think this is one of my favorite eps out there from Blawan…

rubin  on October 12, 2011 at 6:53 AM

This track is totally fucking fierce, one of my tunes of the year.

Played it out a couple of weeks back just before Ryan Elliott and it totally rinsed the venue. All about the stabs.

SP  on October 17, 2011 at 7:02 PM

Exactly – much more on point than the RA review. Also I like how this tune contrasts with the Oliver $ track, the sampling here feels telling


Little White Earbuds September Charts 2011 | Little White Earbuds  on October 7, 2011 at 10:04 AM

[…] Jools, “Feel You” [Mobilee] 09. Cosmin TRG, “Amor Y Otros” [50 Weapons] 10. Blawan, “What You Do With What You Have” [R&S]Kuri Kondrak 01. The Florian Muller Project, “Jam With It” (The Oliverwho […]

Little White Earbuds October Chart 2011 | Little White Earbuds  on November 4, 2011 at 10:03 AM

[…] To Dream” [Moodmusic] 09. Tim Green, “Swamp Girl” [Rebellion] 10. Blawan, “What You Do With What you Have” [R&S Records]Kuri Kondrak 01. Juju & Jordash, “Bleached Roots” [Rush Hour] […]

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