Elgato, Zone / Luv Zombie

[Hessle Audio]

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Everyone loves sound-system culture, but there’s something to be said for the way the UK has embraced it ever since dub started washing up on its shores in the late 1960s. From digital dancehall through jungle, garage, and dubstep, the insistence on sub-bass has remained a constant, irreproachable aspect of British dance music, and it’s what gives their current crop of house tunes that “Made in the UK” signature. Hessle Audio’s most house release thus far came from newcomer Elgato in the form of contemporary classic Tonight / Blue; a release that synthesized Detroit house signifiers with considerable bass weight for one of 2010’s standout records. A follow-up has been a long time coming, but Hessle’s 20th release makes it all worth it, plunging further afield into abstract, intensely physical dance music.

“Zone” busts down the door (quite literally) with an intense amount of sub-bass, and over the course of its eight and a half minutes builds with deliberately placed hi-hats, percolating sixteenth notes, and a quashed vocal sample. The elephant in the room is that there’s no kick drum, but given the crushing subs any kick would seem almost redundant, almost as if “Zone” reaches the delirious levels of jacking it does because of its lack of the kick. It’s reduced but full bodied, with the few elements in play commanding dancers’ undivided attention. “Luv Zombie” on the flip ups the energy with Alcachofa-era Villalobos-alike chords, snares, and a persistent vocal loop, but again the kick drum is totally absent. Riddled with anxiety, the track builds and builds until three minutes in when the kick finally lands, at first every couple bars, and then in pitched, stepping triplets. The other elements start to relax, the vocal unfurls, and “Luv Zombie” finally feels at ease with itself after climaxing (probably reaching for a cigarette at some point in the runout groove). Elgato may be a tease, but the delayed gratification is worth it, and these two cuts further cement him as someone to be really, really excited about.

oj  on May 1, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Well put, demanding but rewarding, Luv Zombie is the one for me.


Little White Earbuds April Charts 2012 | Little White Earbuds  on May 4, 2012 at 10:04 AM

[…] Stripe” [Digitalis Recordings] 03. Htrk, “Slo Glo” [Ghostly International] 04. Elgato, “Luv Zombie” [Hessle Audio] 05. Vessel, “Merge” [left_blank] 06. The Grid, “Floatation” […]

Little White Earbuds May Charts 2012 | Little White Earbuds  on June 1, 2012 at 10:03 AM

[…] At Robert Johnson] 10. Pigon, “Kamm” (tobias. Version) [Lirum Larum]Jordan Rothlein 01. Elgato, “Luv Zombie” [Hessle Audio] 02. Bookworms, “African Rhythms” [Long Island Electrical Systems] 03. […]

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