Kassem Mosse, We Speak To Those/Hi Res

[Nonplus+]


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Kassem Mosse, whose friends call him Gunnar Wendel, has been making his name on slow, narcotic deep house with a uniquely experimental bent that separates him from his fellow defenders of the form. His tracks vary from near-ambience to pounding bangers, but the drums are padded and the synths are often stuck in permanent soft-focus, staying within viewing distance while still maddeningly blurry. Perhaps best known for his two woozy EPs on the Workshop label, his latest release comes on Instra:mental’s drum-n-bass-centric NonPlus+ label of all places, and builds on the sound of those EPs with a new pseudo-militaristic drive.

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“We Speak To Those” stumbles to life on a stilted marching progression: drums that are so obscured they sound like they’re coming from outside the walls, a military division coming to storm a hideout. The demolition begins with mysterious scratching sounds and defeated Autonomic-style pads that loom and swell bigger and bigger, while the pounding march drops in and out, lulling the listener into a false sense of security before the menacing thud resumes again. “Hi Res” prefers a less straightforward path, deeply submerged as phased and flanged percussion sounds shoot out like probing searchlights, only to arc back and head back out all over again. 808s tread water behind, the motor driving the undersea exploration; it’s the bottom of the sea, pitch black, where the only way to see your way around is with sound — disorienting to say the least. Those syrupy pads return, cementing the aquatic feel as they float in and out like the tide, waves rippling on the surface and making faint impressions below. That these two tracks sound like nothing else in the NonPlus+ catalog and far removed from the drum-n-bass so often associated with the Autonomic sound and yet fit so well with the late-night cityscape aesthetic cultivated by the label is a testament not only to the genius of Mosse but the potential of Instra:mental as curators of a genuinely brand new sound.

tom/pipecock  on August 10, 2010 at 11:14 AM

this is cool, but nowhere near as good as that one on Laid.

jonnyp  on August 10, 2010 at 4:01 PM

interesting sound, mr mosse always delivers. agree with thomascockpipe about the laid release. my favourite track of the year so far!

Joseph Hallam  on August 10, 2010 at 6:01 PM

A tad too steppy for my taste, but a good record nonetheless.

Peter Skovgaard Andersen  on August 13, 2010 at 3:13 PM

I agree, his track for Laid is much better.

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