- Red Rack'em's appearance on Ramp shouldn't come as a huge surprise. The label has long been a reliable source for refreshing, outsider takes on whatever the UK happens to be preoccupied with at the time, which has lately meant slightly sinister, rhythmically unstable house music. This single—two cuts of eyes-down house with just a hint of rudeness—ploughs a furrow familiar to those who've been following the Red Rack'em releases on Berman's own Bergerac imprint since 2010, but manages to sound utterly in tune with the concerns of the UK-centric dance floor in 2012.
"Chirpsin" is all crisp, tribal percussion and gut-quaking sub: not a particularly attractive sound, but an effective one nonetheless. It's easy to imagine this being dropped in at the druggier end of a UK funky set. The furtive, harp-like pads are deeply ambiguous in tone, though, and towards the end tiny chunks of field recording start to appear, seemingly intended to destabilise rather than cohere. "All Alone," meanwhile, draws on much the same sound palette as "If Only the Past," released on Bergerac earlier this year—though that's not to its detriment. Built around a weighty dub bassline and heel-dragging hi-hat shuffle, the whole thing quickly descends into 5 AM paranoia territory. What's most striking, though, is Berman's ability to string things out. We're taken through several sets of harmonic material over its six-and-a-half minute length, and the more patient listener is rewarded with a snare drum in the closing 90 seconds. There's admirably little flab here, making for a single as appealing to the armchair connoisseur as it likely is on the dance floor.
B All Alone