- Sometimes Dave Huismans seems at risk of slipping under the radar. Many of his contemporaries—artists from the late '00s moment when British bass music began to merge with house and techno—now tour the world every weekend. But Huismans keeps a low profile, although (or perhaps because) his productions remain as strange and imaginative as ever. This single is the final release on his A Made Up Sound label, and a good opportunity to recognise the chameleonic brilliance of his music. Home to some of Huismans' most daring productions since 2009, the AMUS series develops in often unexpected ways without losing its musical identity. AMUS009 surprises once again, and does so by being the straightest record of the series.
Where Huismans has often dazzled with outlandish ideas, this time he takes a subtler approach. The titles—"Bygones," "Peace Offering"—suggest that he's trying to make amends with his past rather than celebrate it, and the mood of these hypnotic techno chuggers is subdued, the rhythms straight and melody almost non-existent. "Bygones" is a rolling, eight-and-a-half-minute vista of rhythmic details—muted toms, conga loops, scuffed hi-hats—densely gridded around a 4/4 kick. There are some chords, made from what might be guitar tones pitched way down, but they're so gentle you could almost miss them. The B-side is deeper still, its kick drum wading through a diffuse sub-bass rumble and trailing a single shaker behind it like a leaf drifting in the autumn wind. Thin pads float into view after the three-minute mark, and begin to shift in pitch a couple of minutes later. But Huismans makes minimal drama of these moments. Instead, the track sinks deeper into melancholic contemplation, and then slips out of view.
B Peace Offering