- Trends in music are cyclical, but I don't think anyone foresaw the rise of jittery barebones electro. Suddenly the sound of skittering 808s at cocaine-induced speeds is inimitably fashionable. It's not just the popularity that's surprising, though. It's also that the revival comes from some of the biggest names in both the drum & bass and dubstep communities. Instra:mental's recent sets have seen them combining their tracky drum & bass with harsh and rigid funk, while Headhunter's productions as Addison Groove see him negotiating electro through a particularly brain-twisting lens of Chicago juke music and UK house.
Irish label Naked Lunch was quite prescient in releasing an EP from DJ Stingray earlier this year, preceding newly-focused critical attention on vintage Detroit electro that continued with the re-emergence of Urban Tribe and this solo project from Instra:mental's Al Bleek, the oddly named Boddika. Boddika's tracks are not Drexciya xeroxes or Stingray replicas, but they are otherwise definitively retro. Made up primarily of (what else?) drums and bass, these tracks find an austere sort of meditation in Bleek's vintage hardware-driven sounds.
A writhing monster, "Boddika's House" is all knotted muscle and bone, greedily absorbing whatever moisture it can glean. "Syn Chron" is even more difficult, a harsh swung beat that snaps as if to carefully evade the invasive bass, grinding concrete on concrete. Unfriendly and unapologetic, these are the most acerbic tracks Bleek has put his name to; that no one knows what to call them—house, techno, electro—is a sign that he's doing something right.
A Boddika's House
B Syn Chron