- Grime, bassline and dubstep combine on an era-spanning introduction to a key UK producer.
- The history of dance music is littered with stories of forgotten pioneers not getting their dues. For every moment like Daft Punk's "Teachers," there are countless cases of ignoring, plagiarizing and downright plundering. This is something the thriving UK garage scene seems especially eager to amend, with labels like Dr. Banana unearthing long-lost dubplates, unreleased gems off dusty DATs and unaffordable classics from some of the scene's trailblazers. Shall Not Fade's sub-label Time Is Now switches the formula around, delivering a four-track EP from DJ Pantha—the bassline veteran's first-ever vinyl release.
The tracks aren't so new themselves, with at least two of them dating back to a time when the idea of a vinyl release must have been far from Pantha's mind (the scene thrived on instant messenger-swapped tunes rather than freshly cut dubplates). Both feature MCs and appeared on a "Grime Vs. Bassline" mix that Pantha made in 2011. And grimy they are: "Dem A Talk" is martial enough to be a war dub, while the bassline on "Can't Beat Da Farda" sounds like it belongs to a mean dubstep wobbler. The other two tracks aren't any less screw-faced, with acrid basslines bouncing between snappy snares on "Bun And Cheese," lending this one an intoxicating UK funky flair.
This Northern offspring of UK garage appeals precisely because it emphasizes the genre's zaniest elements, even more so than speed garage did before. Pantha revels in this carnivalesque atmosphere, threading ludicrous basslines one after another (even abundantly sampling Mortal Kombat on one track). Coupled with the whiplash-inducing energy levels, it's the kind of music that forces gun fingers and big fat grins. Cheese & Bun feels like a fully fledged—and long-overdue—addition to a catalogue mostly scattered over SoundCloud mixes and radio rips. It's a great introduction to a producer who embodies bassline's exuberant spirit.
01. Bun And Cheese
02. Dem A Talk feat. Cubzy
03. Can't Beat Da Farda feat. Rikki Tuff
04. Mortal Kombat