Cooly G, Narst/Love Dub

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[Hyperdub]


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Although Hyperdub has rightly earned its reputation as one of the world’s leading dubstep labels, the scope of its sounds is far wider. Burial’s spectral aesthetic owes much to 2-step and garage; Zomby and Joker are pioneers of whatever they’re calling wonky these days; and label head Kode9’s sews together bits and pieces of hip-hop, Baltimore breaks, 2-step, dubstep, techno, and mostly recently the nascent sounds of funky. With the latter most genre quickly gathering steam and admirers, it was only a matter of time before Hyperdub signed their own funky producer — South London’s Cooly G.

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Admittedly, I’m nowhere near an authority on funky or grime, but that hasn’t stopped me from being drawn in by Cooly G’s three track debut. From the very first strings stab there’s a grimey ominousness about “Narst” that only grows darker as widely reverberating claps, sticky bass notes and konking percussion join in. Even the arrival of the snare-led Soca beat, which shifts the 4×4 time signature, does nothing to lighten the mood but goes a long way towards getting dancers to jive. Cooly G’s softer side is on display in “Love Dub” and subsequent refix, two concise tunes which live up to their bubbly names. “It must be love,” she admits, her clear, wistful voice cutting through waves of foggy tone ascending the scale one note at a time. Irregular patterns of hand drumming dribble around her like raindrops off her umbrella. The refix is most notable for its more assertive kick, tensely shivering bass tone, and an off-hand synth vamp traipsing through the last minute, but not much else. Cooly G’s charming and versatile debut is another indication Hyperdub’s greatness is hardly confined to dubstep releases.

Will C.  on June 2, 2009 at 10:48 AM

This is pretty great. Hyperdub is definitely a label to watch right now; I’ve found their releases consistently interesting.

sam500  on June 5, 2009 at 3:41 AM
iko  on June 15, 2009 at 11:50 AM

she’s playing in london on the 26th:
http://www.residentadvisor.net/event.aspx?101913

Jordan Rothlein  on June 17, 2009 at 7:24 PM

Amazing.

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