- Slippery UK bass from one of the sound's most inventive producers.
- Omar McCutcheon's music sounds like the product of intense concentration. His tracks, loaded with unusual sound design and irregular rhythms, make it easy to imagine the producer, AKA Batu, flanked by monitors and takeaway boxes, having spent hours making apparently minor adjustments. This attention to detail has brought McCutcheon's UK-inspired techno to life. That also goes for his latest EP, False Reeds.
There's also a newfound lightness that gives the music an extra spark. That's partly down to the absence of the quasi-tropical humidity of past EPs like Murmur, but more important are the limber elements found in "False Reeds." Its 32nd-note vocal lead is complemented by a hummable bassline and cute chord harmonies, which result in one of McCutcheon's most accessible tracks, something a house DJ with an adventurous streak could easily play. But he's sacrificed none of the tricky touches that make his tracks so compelling (in "False Reeds"'s case, snares that burst like gunge-filled balloons).
"Statin (Dub)" seems like it was made in the same spirit. The impish vocal is the focal point, a syllable made to jump through hoops like a dog on an agility course. Other elements—the telephone-keypad melody, for example—can feel disorienting, but the vocal eventually mimics a whistling steam train, a soothing touch. You could say the same about aspects of "Shiratani." There's a jelly-like dub techno ambience, but it neatly evades Basic Channel pastiche—like so much of McCutcheon's work, "Shiratani" is too slippery to resemble anything familiar. In a catalogue full of excellent tunes, False Reeds has some of his best.
A1 False Reeds
B2 Statin (Dub)