- Alex "Bok Bok" Sushon and James "L-Vis" Connolly were producers a mere two years ago, but now they've transformed their London party Night Slugs into one of the most smoking record labels both in and out of the dance underground. From where the hype generated is unclear, but if you want to know where it reached its boiling point, you just have to say "Wut." One of the biggest singles of 2010, Girl Unit's crystalline keyboard chimes, Three Six beats, Tourette's-afflicted vocal loops and titanic proportions launched it out of the blogosphere and onto the planet Jupiter, the only planet big enough to contain the party.
It'd be tempting to compare Night Slugs Allstars, Volume 1's 2010 release with 2009's 5 , a survey of Hyperdub. And there are similarities: Unified packaging aesthetics, expert marketing campaigns and distinct philosophies behind the music. But while Hyperdub's sound literally recreates the granular squelches of 8-bit video games, Night Slugs impart the attitude behind the games themselves. They tend to include bloated brass orchestras, whiny G-funk synths and ambient techno keyboard dashes because, well, they sound pretty cool. Complaining about airhorns in a Night Slugs track is like complaining that there were too many 3-D kung fu scenes in The Matrix.
Of Volume 1's 13 tracks, seven comprise all-new material. What's astonishing about them is just how different they are from one another. The Bok Bok remix of the aforementioned Girl Unit's "IRL" is a pirate broadcast of Terror Danjah, with horns big enough to announce Godzilla's entrance and drums tumbling over themselves, trying to ensure the snare drops on the four. Egyptrixx's "Liberation Front" is techno so woozy and supple that it could fit on one of Perlon's Superlongevity's, and Optimum's "Broken Embrace" is straight up Convextion, with zippy flashes of keyboard wandering around a quick kick.
The music here is loud in volume and visceral in force, the sheer size of each element large enough to make things sound cluttered. But there's also a simplicity to everything, each track relying on little more than a bassline, a drum pattern, a keyboard or horn loop, and some sound effects. It's the amplification of each element that accounts for this label's dynamic sound. And it's the breadth and impact of this compilation that makes Night Slugs' 2011 output a prospect worth getting amped about.
01. Mosca - Square One VIP
02. Lil Silva - Golds 2 Get
03. Girl Unit - IRL (Bok Bok Remix)
04. Kingdom - Bust Broke
05. L-Vis 1990 & T. Williams - Stand Up
06. Jam City - Arpjam
07. Lil Silva - Seasons
08. Egyptrixx - Liberation Front
09. Bok Bok & Cubic Zirconia - Reclash Dub
10. Optimum - Broken Embrace
11. Jacques Greene - (Baby I Don't Know) What You Want
12. Velour - Booty Slammer
13. Girl Unit - Wut