Firecracker's new sub-label, Unthank, marks its launch with a record by Estonian newcomer, Bakey USTL, that is impolite, sexually deviant, anti-social and just might come to be looked back on as one of the year's best. The music feels like the gatecrashing of a mild-mannered deep house party by a loud and abrasive, middle-finger wielding punk—perhaps just what it needed. It's rarely comfortable, mostly exciting.
The three-minute mind-fuck, pointedly titled "Heroin," is a nadir of discomfort in the way it underpins a cacophony of white noises and Spanish-language drug-pushing with a 150 BPM pummelling. Not really enjoyable, it at least provides an insight into the type of personality required to make a record like "A Tender Places," which will entice and confound DJs in equal measure. What starts out as a fairly normal, if EQ-challenged, deep house track, after two minutes, stops dead in its tracks. A couple of different drumbeats are briefly considered before silence, a hiss and crackle as the record is seemingly changed, and then boom-tss "Stomp your feet if you wanna suck."
Even if you don't really want to suck, the feet-stomping seems like a good idea. The wildly untamed beats are large if nothing else, and with the increasingly erratic presence of background sounds—telephone calls, doors opening, more white noise—in the fore, they're the proverbial marbles in an otherwise fruitcake arrangement. But even they manage to get lost in the ignominy of a simultaneous accelerando and fade-out ending that'll mean only the brave will play it in any other set position than the final track. "Nose Candy," rough and raw by most decent standards, feels like a Hed Kandi bar groove in comparison.
Tracklist A A Tender Places
B1 Nose Candy