- An unflinching proponent of UK funky and bassline, Champion appears to be an odd Four Tet collaborator on paper. We've seen him do fine things with peers like Melé, Flava D and Terror Danjah, though his 2013 remix of Four Tet's "Kool FM," while excellent, seemed more about keeping with Beautiful Rewind's London-centric, pirate radio ethos. It's taken Kieran Hebden two years to further their allegiance, doing so with a two-tracker from the pair for his Text label. Most will be drawn to Flip Side / Disparate because of Hebden, but the impact of Champion's presence can't be overstated.
Trainspotters should recognize these two from recent mixes—namely, Four Tet's Dekmantel podcast and Essential Mix with Jamie xx. Both tracks are firmly rooted in UK club traditions, and, to their benefit, treat that space like a jungle gym rather than a temple. "Flip Side" is essentially a reimagining of De'Lacy's "Hideaway," a 1995 club hit produced by New Jersey house duo Blaze. The spirited, empowering vocal is retrofitted with a UKG shimmy and one of Champion's compressed-air basslines, a gassy and infectious thing that'll surely incite roars if given a rewind. "Disparate" uses samples more abstractly, turning clips from Debelah Morgan's "I Love You" into angelic wisps. They give the track a lovely melodic hook, and complement the atmospheric birdsong and sparse synth flourishes. And Champion's influence—sharp jabs of percussion, resonant bass weight and a nimble rhythmic sense—gives the delicate touches some necessary bite. That's what you might call a perfect match.
A Flip Side