30 October 2007

Pangaea - Coiled (Hessle Audio 12")

The second Hessle Audio release comes from Leeds-based Pangaea, who also co-runs the label with Ramadanman and Ben UFO. Powered by a one-note bass pulse, "Coiled" is a perfect title for the lead cut, with it's tense, scuttling rhythm that seethes with surpressed energy and violence, augmented by the barest touches of spooked-out nocturnal ambience. At the drop, the track descends into near silence, riding on the distant, brooding atmospherics. "Nest" follows a similar path, but with a writhing subsonic undercurrent and a soaring flute-like melody adding some additional warmth to Pangaea's grey, paranoid visions. Finally, "Deviant" eases off the sub-frequencies in favour of a harder, driving kick drum pattern and rolling, filtered percussion loops that could almost fit into a minimal techno set. The breathy pads and haunting cello add a subtly shifting soundtrack element, similar is atmosphere to Moving Ninja's "Formations EP". Understated yet powerfully evocative, for me "Deviant" is another shining example of how dubstep can work as a texturally-developed listening experience beyond the bass-centric obsessions of the soundsystem.

(first published in Woofah #2)

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