Pinch and Shackleton
Pinch and Shackleton


4.0
excellent

Review

by Adash USER (43 Reviews)
November 8th, 2011 | 45 replies | 7,143 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Subterranean Dancehall

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

There are few producers in the UK bass scene of comparable stature to Rob Ellis and Sam Shackleton; both have been instrumental in the formation and mutation of the various strands of bass music into the mongrel bastard child that became known as dubstep. Skull Disco was the label people went to in order to find tunes that didn’t fit into what was in itself still an oddball genre. Tunes like Appleblim and Peverelist’s leviathan Circling and Shack’s ubiquitous Blood on Your Hands explored the outer reaches of dubstep before the term itself gained any credibility outside of the confines of FWD and Plastic People. The sprawling Villalobos remix of the latter in particular transcended limitations and spawned a sound that still sounds fresh today, at a time when the genre is shedding stereotypes and perpetually reinventing itself.

Tectonic founder Pinch’s resume is nearly as impressive; striking initial singles were followed by his full length debut which featured sparse, insistent beats, prominent vocals and melodies just made to stick in your head. Along with the early Hyperdub classics, Underwater Dancehall was a landmark release that sounded anything but watered down in a scene that by the end of the decade was to be filled to the brim with copycat and bass heavy releases from everyman and his pig. So in retrospect, a collaboration between these two heavyweights shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Both forerunners and prodigies, their signature tunes Qawwali and Naked are built on the same aesthetic core; murky beats, cavorting basslines, sparse disturbing melodies, and above all a critical characteristic minimalism that lets the music breathe and (crucially) evolve.

Indeed, the first thing that strikes the listener here is the constant mutation of the sounds leaking through the speakers; a caustic venom radiates from the heart of the music and flows through the veins of the bodies of sound, causing them to convulse and transmute in disconcerting and often jaw dropping ways. On the stunning Levitation millennia of evolution are compressed into minutes, spawning agonizing moments that are at times almost excruciatingly irresistible. Tempests of haunting synths swirl through pitch black tunnels dug under the throbbing mountains of bass, whilst occasional yet critical glimmers of light in the form of chimes or bells flash by so fast as to be almost imperceptible; they exist solely to provide fragmented and fleeting moments of clarity in the otherwise boundless and impenetrable void.

Besides the monsoons of menacing bass, by far the most impressive element of the music is the exquisite use of percussion. Shackleton is renowned as a programming perfectionist; the beats on his chilling Death is Not Final took almost two months to program. Somehow he maintains the same level of quality here, and his efforts are nothing short of astounding. Trademark tribal rhythms are filtered through the Perlon influence of his new hometown; dubby kicks propel the tracks in several directions at once whilst a whole plethora of toms and snares rattle ominously, blind fingers of sound groping for a way out of the labyrinthine darkness. Indeed, one can picture Pinch acting as an all important restraining arbiter, ensuring that things never spiral out of hand, slowly increasing the pressure on the mixture without ever letting it detonate.

The two kindred spirits complement each other perfectly; paradoxically, they act simultaneously as catalyst and restraint on the sound of their respective partner in grime. This results in a final product that astounds with its ability to move bodies and minds, yet is executed with the precision and a subtlety of touch that is characteristic of Raster Noton’s finest.

Post this or future that? Who cares? Simply put, this is music extracted straight from the heart of darkness. Far away in the numinous jungles of Africa, deep in the bowels of the trembling earth, Pinch and Shackleton have been digging. And my oh my, have they struck gold



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user ratings (19)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Adash
November 8th 2011



1356 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cracks in the Pleasuredome

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uod_yB7oFeI


This came out of nowhere and blew my mind. Difficult and uncompromising stuff, but could make the end of year lists for a few of you

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
November 8th 2011



6361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Checking this out, now!

Digging: Shackleton - Deliverance Series No. 1

clercqie
Contributing Reviewer
November 8th 2011



6361 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is great!
You can hear them taking over from each other in the middle of a track, awesome

Adash
November 8th 2011



1356 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm still a bit surprised it works so well, generally Shackleton's work tends to favour wide open spaces but combined with Pinch the bass mutation really works here. Unbelievable stuff

Imperial
November 8th 2011



1721 Comments


this is some weird stuff. I like.

Digging: Plebeian Grandstand - Lowgazers

Manic_
November 8th 2011



447 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

didn't realize this was already out, must acquire.

MisterTornado
Contributing Reviewer
November 8th 2011



4507 Comments


Sounds like a good one

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
November 8th 2011



23798 Comments


Adash needs to be Contributor, seriously...

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
November 8th 2011



30873 Comments


That was fucking quick

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

iFghtffyrdmns
November 8th 2011



7047 Comments


oooo. i like yr writing.
nicely done and congrats on the feature; this is an awesome write-up

Adash
November 8th 2011



1356 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Adash needs to be Contributor, seriously...

Can't we all dream...........: )

@That was fucking quick

Listened to it three times; horizontal, vertical, upsidedown, wrote the review, studied some Hobbes, relistened, rewrote and voila

@IFGHT

thanks for the positivity

Love this shit






Rev
November 8th 2011



9382 Comments


need to check this out, and spin Underwater Dancehall again


where can I find this?

daIceman
November 8th 2011



389 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

that sounds magnificent, I like that african influenced music. It's deffinitely one of the best electronic LP this year, maybe best but i need a few more listens

Digging: Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
November 8th 2011



30873 Comments


Can't say that this is anywhere near the best electronic release of the year

Adash
November 8th 2011



1356 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't know, I reckon it slots in snugly just behind Old Rave's End and Dedication

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
November 8th 2011



30873 Comments


Idk, truthfully I find this to be, at times, rather directionless

Adash
November 8th 2011



1356 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The constant shifts and changes that make it zig zag around are what make it appealing : ] Like a labyrinthe, you're lost but there's only one way out and you're graaaaadually heading toward it....

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
November 8th 2011



30873 Comments


True, but Pinch and more realistically, Shackleton, have crafted much better attempts at that before

Adash
November 8th 2011



1356 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'll second that. And still insist on this being mesmerising. But yeah, you know how I feel about Soundboy P; to be honest, I'm still lost in the Villalobos version of Blood. Absolute aurgasm that probably can't be topped

Jash
November 8th 2011



4244 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i cant find this anywhere, anyone care to point me in the right direction???

PLEEEAAAAASSSSEEEEEEEEE



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