When we last left Pinch he had just emerged, bleary eyed and soot covered, from Shackleton’s subterranean lair. The duo’s stunning long-player mined the labyrinthine, murky depths there still unexplored, and our heroes surfaced with crates full of obsidian frequencies and a tarred Gregorian choir. Still a bit scarred from the experience, and with plenty of opaque minerals in tow, Pinch digests what happened on those adventures on his latest 12″ for Swamp 81. It’s a curious pairing indeed — “dark” is hardly the first word that comes to mind when face to face with Boddika’s party-ready electro, Ramadanman and Zed Bias’ 808 rhythm-composer-house, and J.O.’s cocaine powder, but Pinch has been here before with 2010’s heavy-weight Croydon House.
“Retribution” is all syncopated rhythms and frequency-space-spanning buzzes, forgoing any semblance of melody in favor of intense, threatening atmosphere. While it might be at techno-friendly tempos, the kick never once settles into an easy 4/4, even seeming as it’s changing its pattern almost every measure. B-side “Get Out Of Here” is just as menacing and more spacious, with only a handful of elements present, but each with a crowbar in one hand and blow in the other. All of this is to say that this is capital-“D” “Dubstep,” and even if most are hesitant to make this stuff, originators like Pinch still hold the torch up strong in the face of adversity. Shying away from the dubstep-techno movement of a couple years ago, Pinch drops the notion of a hybrid and instead takes those DMZ roots and evolves them in his own idiosyncratic direction, rather than towards already existing styles. A killer record for Pinch, and a highlight for a label full of them.