- By now, it's clear that Fred Warmsley does whatever the hell he wants. Establishing the Lee Bannon name with soulful hip-hop productions for Joey Bada$$, the Brooklyn-based Californian soon got into dark ambient, and on his 2013 Ninja Tune debut, Alternate/Endings, he helped invigorate a jungle revival that's still going in 2015. His last record, Pattern Of Excel, moved away from drum breaks almost entirely, presenting a series of eerie and dissociative vignettes instead. Now he's abandoning the Bannon name, making music as Dedekind Cut and self-releasing the first EP. Thot Enhancer may not sound like a totally different artist, but it does turn towards the dark and angry. Warmsley's textures have grown bolder and his jungle is mutating into breakcore.
The EP begins and ends with striking interludes that sound built from the spare parts of Pan Sonic tracks. "Harbinger" is all physical—flashbang drum hits and serrated waves of low-end—while "True Lover$ Knot" is ethereal, pushing a harsh sample deep beneath a drone until it's all more soothing. Compared to the sketches of Pattern Of Excel, these tracks feel imposing.
Warmsley also shows off his love for hard and fast drums. "Thot Enhancer" rolls by like apocalyptic trap, with ticking hi-hats blown out to crunchy extremes and a woodwind synth that seems to gasp for air. But it's "Further (With An Open Mouth)" and "Necq," two dips into fire-and-brimstone breakcore, that ultimately stand out. The former is complete and utter brutality, lashing out with Venetian Snares-style breaks that sound chewed up and corroded. Focusing on the neurotic precision of drill & bass, the brief "Necq" pulls drum samples apart into microscopic pieces. Thot Enhancer isn't a landmark release in Warmsley's catalogue, but it shows he's still capable of shocking and unsettling us.
02. Thot Enhancer
03. Further (With An Open Mouth)
05. True Lover$ Knot