- Pinch, AKA Rob Ellis, is a true original. After helping to shape the dubstep scene, he didn't take the techno and house route like many of his peers. Instead he twisted the bass-heavy dance music of his earliest releases into mangled shapes, creating an anything-goes style later picked up by younger producers like Mumdance, Logos and Batu. Every once in a while Ellis puts out a landmark track—"Qawwali," "The Boxer," "Croydon House"—that offers a new permutation of the stellar sound design and creative arrangements that have made him so respected. "Water Bomb" is another one of these tracks.
As the title hints, the sounds of "Water Bomb" are aquatic. Everything sloshes around, and the drums sound like shotguns going off underwater. This lends a psychedelic tinge to the track's otherwise powerful thrust. There are plenty of other odd touches—wheezing drills, a squalling bassline—that make it feel like a gauntlet of sound effects. You couldn't really call it techno or dubstep or grime. "Water Bomb" is the kind of track that makes you stop in the middle of a set and think, what the hell is that? (You can hear an early version on Mumdance's Fabriclive mix from 2015.)
"Cold New Worlds," with ominous horns, more watery sound effects and drums that creep rather than lunge is on the B-side. It's the inverse of "Water Bomb," with all of its creativity and dexterity applied to a sparser template. But as weird as "Cold New Worlds" and "Water Bomb" are, you wouldn't have any trouble dancing to them. Ellis can make something you know how to move to, even if you've never heard anything like it before.
A Water Bomb
B Cold New Worlds