- Slow, nocturnal house continues to gradually gain traction across several scenes, as tempos continue to drop and colours fade. A particular penchant seems to be forming for it in the UK's dub mecca, as Bristol showers newfound attention on its wave of producers making sub-heavy variations on lumbering house and heavy, jacking techno. Bristolian Joe Cowton mostly belongs to the former camp, his recent productions showing him to be the most promising of the Kassem Mosse acolytes, taking a barebones sound and putting his own sleepily virtuosic and basswise take on it all.
There's no better place to look for this particular Bristol sound right now than Idle Hands, and Kowton's second splash for the label shows him working further towards a more distinctive sound. "She Don't Jack" is explicitly UK in origin, endowing its bobbing elements with a playful swing and (of course) a stuttering vocal sample. These jumpy tics stand directly at odds with its slow dramatic sustain, unsettling grumble of a bassline, and horror movie-calibre bells. The track, as if uncertain, vacillates between sections of free-floating dread and considerably muscular percussive flex.
The flipside is darker and certainly more difficult, "Drunk On Sunday" lacking the grasping points of its counterpart with a disorienting staggered hat/kick configuration that lives up to the track's title. The only non-percussive adornments spared by Cowton are a rumbling synth line and resonant notes—like someone running their finger excruciatingly slowly across the rim of a wine glass—but even these are completely devoid of colour. Kowton's vision of house is grim and desaturated, but it's also a little groovy, and his drum programming flair and dub-learned basslines turn the soot-caked skeletons into something danceable and even sensual.
A She Don't Jack
B Drunk On Sunday