- Bangers for the world without us.
- The video for "Smell Your Smog" is a repeating clip of a bridge awash in green, red, and sepia plasma. As the camera crosses the bridge, the image quality deteriorates, creating a looped entropy where pedestrians, cars, concrete and metal merge. A shrill synth crescendos while delay and reverb, like a mechanical whale's swansong, criss-cross the stereo field. By the time a filthy 808 and an even filthier bassline enter, the smog is both sonic and textural. The song is an electro juggernaut of decay, the occasional softness of the pads just dying sunspots in the apocalypse.
If this sounds like heavy stuff, it's because it is. The vinyl debut from Paul Tieje, AKA Rubber Bullet, is a record that mines not electro's funk, but the nuclear fumes of the '80s. The only respite is the fittingly titled "Nuclear Sunshine." The song ups the tempo well north of 130 BPM using a four-on-the-floor rhythm and gossamer synthline to mimic sunshine trapped in uranium deposits.
In some ways, the release hits the cultural zeitgeist on the head. As Chal Ravens put it in our end of year wrap up: "2019 will be remembered as the year the world finally woke up to the climate crisis." What this precisely means, however, is still up for grabs. From debates about vinyl's sustainability to questions of waste at festivals; from Anthropocene tech house to academic monographs, dance music is having an expansive and varied conversation about what club culture looks like in the aegis of anthropogenic climate change. Rubber Bullets takes a different approach, offering four bangers for the world without us.
A1 Smell Your Smog
A2 Laser Defence
B1 Nuclear Sunshine
B2 Strange Influence