Vessel, Nylon Sunset

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Rarely do you see the cyclical nature of musical trends as clearly as when observing the relationship between UK garage and dubstep. Originally a product of garage’s darker, latter days, dubstep has become so overblown and wobble obsessed that many of its adherents have returned to the sunnier, house-influenced sounds that preceded it. The inaugural release from left_blank, produced by Sebastian Gainsbrough under the alias Vessel, is exemplary of the most modern takes on garage and bass music and comes complete with a lean Peverelist remix that flies the flag of the roots of both garage and dubstep.

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“Ton” is a sometimes skeletal 2-stepper whose female vocal samples are used more as rhythmic devices than melodic flourishes. A looping synth forms the song’s backbone, leaving its permutating percussion to provide the variation. It’s a rather contemporary take on garage that recalls the output of fellow Young Echo crew member Kahn. Introducing a more melancholic edge is “Blushes,” which slows the beat down to a slinky funk with droning atmospheres and a gradually more pronounced kick drum. The bass line is the unsung hero of the song, which while nearly drowned out by Burial-like textures, glides upward to make itself known and keep the track thumping. It’s sure to appear in the sets of cool down DJs playing both house and UK bass music.

The B-side starts with Peverelist’s remix of “Nylon Sunset,” whose knife-wielding synth stabs might make listeners thinking the original was a homage to the Psycho theme. In fact, Vessel’s original is a chipper, rolling cut with ring modulated bass tunneling through the middle and lush synths coating the surface. Peverelist takes all the shine out of the track and strips it for spare parts, rebuilding it as a lithe assassin of a track. Bass heavy kicks and syncopated vocals syllables feature here, with the original’s funky bass line blunted into a lower frequency that hits like a punch to the chest. It’s a bold reworking that shows not only the inventiveness of Peverelist but only the enduring influence and mutability of the garage style Vessel is reclaiming.

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