- For some time now, Bristol has been a torchbearer for the deeper, more cultured side of UK bass music, with a gaggle of top-notch labels—Tectonic, Punch Drunk, Apple Pips and Immerse, primarily—spewing out quality releases with alarming regularity. Idle Hands, which runs out of the town's much-loved Rooted Records, looks to be no exception, having already graced us with two excellent 12-inches, and now this: young Joe Cowton's second release under his Kowton moniker, and most likely the darkest slab of slow house-meets-UKG you'll hear all year.
A-side "Basic Music Knowledge" sounds like something the Pink Panther would come up with after a heavy night out with the Workshop crew, its plodding bass and slinky hats establishing a suavely sinister groove. Chugging away at a sleazy 115 BPM, a muffled 4/4 kick—submerged deep in the mix—keeps it all locked together, while a chirpy, chipmunky female vocal evokes garage's champagne-swilling glory days (albeit minus the champagne, and the glory). B-side "Hunger" plunges fathoms deeper, losing a couple of BPM and ramping up the bass, which, aside from clickety hats and sparse, menacing FX, is all the track really consists of. It's amazing what 2-step sounds like at this tempo—tense, sweaty, claustrophobic—and that it works so well is just reward for Kowton's dark, daring approach.
A Basic Music Knowledge