- Thrilling experimental club workouts from one of the style's rising stars.
- It's rare for a producer to have such a high profile with so few releases out. But DJ Haram is a prolific maker of mixes (she's already done The FADER, DUMMY and Truants), which she fills with edits and originals that fuse East Coast club rhythms with punk electronics and Middle Eastern samples. Over the last few years, we've gotten glimpses of what she's capable of as a producer through mixes and occasional tracks she posts on SoundCloud, as well as her RA-recommended EP from last year with the noise poet Moor Mother, as 700 Bliss. Her Hyperdub debut, an eight-track EP called Grace, is her first substantial statement as a solo producer, and it sees her honing her unmistakable sound into a dangerously sharp tip.
Some artists are just here to have fun and party. But everything about DJ Haram is deadly serious, from her decisive DJ blends to her tough sound palette and the relentless militancy of her rhythms. Grace is at times so focused and earth-shakingly forceful that it's a little intimidating. The scariest track, "Interlude," is actually almost beatless, with a monstrous doomsday synth chugging under a sharp flute sample, and the fact that it never drops makes it that much more tense. Apart from that, her toolkit consists mostly of drum samples, which means that melodic samples and synths are extra effective in the rare moments they do appear.
"Body Count" offsets percussive intensity with a well-placed harp sound, which softens the track just enough to let you breathe. On "Candle Light (700 Bliss Remix)," Moor Mother adds hardcore poetry lines to a booming, claustrophobic beat. "Grace (K.O.D.)" and the instrumental version of "Candle Light" both have pulverizing basslines and ultra sparse rhythms, exactly the kind of tracks you can imagine Hyperdub boss Kode9 being drawn to. She rounds it out with "No Idol (Remix)," which has more of a Jersey club influence than anything else on the EP—it's mostly just a kick drum, a bed squeak sample, and the same insistent flute sample that crops up on a few tracks. Haram gets a lot of ideas out this limited toolkit, which means she's working with the right ingredients.
A1 No Idol
A3 Gemini Rising
A4 Body Count
B1 Candle Light (700 Bliss Remix)
B2 Grace (K.O.D.)
B3 Candle Light (Instrumental)
B4 No Idol (Remix)