- In recent months, London's Nabihah Iqbal has executed a neat pincer movement on British electronic music. The 19 Jewels EP for No Pain In Pop showed her pop side, and now this single for Bristol's Happy Skull supplies some dance floor heft. What's particularly satisfying is that, though Iqbal is only a handful of releases deep, both are immediately identifiable as her work. That's mostly down to the synths—great silken sheets of sound so glossy-bright they dazzle. There's a more direct cross-reference, too: the creepy bell-like melody in "Chancer" is almost identical to that in the 19 Jewels track "Pure Life." But where before it was in service to baleful R&B, here it floats eerily over a mechanised techno throb. It's a pairing as old as Detroit techno, but Iqbal pulls it off in her own distinctive style.
"Blanx" plays things a little wonkier with a grimey asymmetrical groove. Iqbal has shown she can do blissful contentment, but here we're given brow-furrowing dissonance. Still, even when things get knotty the mix remains incredibly clean and spacious—Throwing Shade's calling card in a scene presently obsessed with murk. Kowton rounds things off with a remix of the A-side. His combination of rolling rimshots and a single vocal sample comes out weirdly like Elgato's "Dunkel Jam." But the framing is different: instead of Kowton's usual grime-indebted syncopations we get churning, linear techno. Formally it might not be as striking as his past work, but each time the sub-bass grows to a chest-crushing rumble before falling away again you'll find that matters less and less.
B1 Chancer (Kowton Mix)