Clueless has been quiet since last year, when he released a first album (for him and the label) on Whistla's L2S. All that time in the lab since has paid off, as the Griswald House EP moves beyond the fairly direct nu-step of Torrid Affairs to something both subtler and less easily classified. Although the Norwegian producer is a newcomer to Frijsfo Beats, here he fits the label's exploratory aesthetic perfectly.
'Build' juxtaposes a warm pulse - almost reminiscent of Ron Trent's Chicago House - with an edgy 2-step shuffle, drawing a powerfully hypnotic effect out of the tension. Parts of 'Dirty Angel' compare directly with Groove Chronicles - dive-bombing bass, helium-infused R&B - but the dubwise reverb and seesawing beat would find their niche at DMZ or Subloaded, not Twice As Nice. If 'Griswald House' sounds rhythmically unhinged, its galloping gait is nontheless restrained from the edge, imparting a slinky, subaquatic groove that's simultaneously the EP's oddest and most danceable.
All three tracks are consumed to varying extent by UK Garage's characteristic vocal-science. Crucially they take it past the point of mere tribute, flipping and twisting fragments of melisma in ways only possible with today's software. Another impressive feature is the overall mix, containing all the expectant space of Basic Channel as elements seem to rebound off one another. It adds up to some compelling, dancefloor-primed material that will not only sound huge on soundsystems but immersive on headphones too.
Early DJ support from Oslek, Troy Gunner, Mirror State, Kingthing, Valta, Submerse…
released 25 June 2012
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