- In the past, Bristol's Hodge has pushed an unashamedly sunny agenda. Whether forming the backing to Matt Lambert's languid keys work in Outboxx, or through his own solo outings Jacob Martin, has shown that the city's new school isn't all dank techno gestures and dead-eyed sub weight. Or so it has seemed thus far. Dusted, for the London-based Deadplate imprint, sees the producer sidestep boldly into the dark, occluded terrain mapped out by the likes of the Idle Hands crew—or, looking further afield, newcomers Beneath and Alex Coulton. The results may lack the striking originality of the finest examples of the form, but are nonetheless smartly executed forays into a soundworld that is still wide open to interpretation.
"Tonda" is a Bristol beast through and through, its greyscale techno sound palette enriched with serrated grime inflections and propelled along by thick, imposing globules of sub bass. That's not to say it offers up its delights easily, though—it's a solid two-and-a-half minutes before the full percussive battery is in place, each iteration of the beat ramping up the intensity in painstaking increments. "Dusted" is even more desolate—perhaps due to the plaintive, tortured synth tones that waft across its surface—while the pitch-black precision of its syncopations recalls the polyrhythmic techno of Szare.
"Turmoil" makes more explicit reference to its dubstep heritage, with lithe rhythms and organ stabs hinting at a slinkier 2-step beat before a foundation of trouser-flappingly deep sub brings us back to earth. Kowton, meanwhile, reworks the track into unexpectedly spacious techno, tempering the grime-derived brutalism of his recent solo outings with expansive synth washes that never quite reach the climax you expect.
B2 Turmoil (Kowton Remix)