- The duo's deep impact on UK club music is highlighted on this mix and compilation.
- Dubstep started in Croydon, but it matured in Bristol. Two of the city's most influential artists, Pinch and Peverelist, evolved the style in ways that are still being felt today. In the early '10s, both began dipping their toes into techno and started new labels to reflect it—Livity Sound overtook Peverelist's Punch Drunk, and, a couple years later, Cold Recordings grew out of Pinch's Tectonic. All four have proven important incubators for young artists and new sounds. The duo's own output has remained dependably excellent, to the point that it might be taken for granted. But In Deep, a compilation and mix that draws from the duo's four labels, underscores their role as vital forces in UK club music ahead of a forthcoming US tour.
Full of broken drums, sinister basslines and eerie silences, In Deep outlines the dark, syncopated sound the two artists and their labels have specialised in over the years (one that has been pushed further still by labels like Timedance and Mistry). The mix lets off steam with carefully executed halts and left turns. Pinch & Mumdance's "Strobe Light" and "Big Slug," Kowton's "Pea Soup"—all of these tracks have head-turning passages that could stop the momentum of a mix in the hands of lesser DJs. But even as Pinch and Peverelist hop from one track to the next, the energy remains steady. It's a sleight of hand that keeps the mix unpredictable without interrupting its flow.
Even with no new tracks to show off, In Deep still feels as though it's at the cutting edge of UK dance music. The mix is also kept lively by each label owner's distinctive tastes. Pinch's preference for staggered rhythms and dramatic pauses is found in the techy crunch of "Brain Sugar," a late-period Tectonic sleeper hit. That approach contrasts with Peverelist's love for labyrinth-like drum patterns, which is evident on Kowton's percussive cascades and tracks such as Asusu's "Sendak." The differences in their methods gives the mix an elastic tension that might not have been evident on a solo mix.
There's a difference between reliability and complacency. "You've got to not just bend with the times, but hopefully bend the times," Pinch told me back in 2014, an ethos that both he and Peverelist have taken to heart. They've pulled off a difficult balancing act of remaining at the top of their game while constantly trying new things. The tracks they've picked, and the way they've mixed them, still feels fresh despite the pace of change in UK club music over the last decade. That's because they've been driving the scene all along, and, as In Deep shows, they still are.
01. Pinch - No Justice
02. Peverelist - Under Clearing Skies
03. Walton - Point Blank
04. Kowton - Shots Fired
05. PHON.O - V3R5U5
06. Forest Drive West - Scanners
07. Pinch & Mumdance - Strobe Light
08. Simo Cell - Stop The Killing
09. Walton feat. Wen - Vectors
10. Kowton - Pea Soup
11. Mumdance & Logos - Chaos Engine
12. Asusu - Sendak
13. Mumdance & Logos - Hall Of Mirrors (Perc & Truss Remix)
14. Peverelist & Hodge - 21 Versions
15. Nurve feat. Caski - Brain Sugar
16. Via Maris - Swarm
17. Hugo Massien - Advanced Aerial Threat
18. Forest Drive West - Escape
19. Pinch & Mumdance - Big Slug (Instrumental)
20. Randomer & Hodge - Simple As