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These four tracks by Snaper demonstrate a finesse and attention to detail that make what are on the surface rather repetitive tracks full of movement.
Pod emphasizes a rhythmic bassline loud in the mix and a light break with shuffles or slightly quieter snares filling the down beats. Morph uses just a couple kicks and snares and hi-hats slowly ticking in the background. There is plenty of space between notes allowing small movements, delays, and sub to fit. Grey Line has a tinnier sounding break almost like the sound pressure is a bit forced. Subtle use of synths get a good reverb treatment. Again the space between drum hits is filled with one off details and carefully selected delays and reverb. Dissonant has a low sounding kick drum matched with a slew-distorted, noise snare. Harmonic dub pads end the EP on a pleasant tone.
Sampling is a group of tracks from the last couple of years which represent simplifying and remaining mobile. Restrictions were set on selecting and processing samples from records and field recordings. And by being mobile, these pieces reflect where they were and when they were written:
09_13_2012 - a sunny, summer afternoon in Southern California.
Ease of Streets - a hotel room in New York looking out at an empty city block late at night.
Tomato Seeds – on and off through my move from Louisiana to California.
The Dog Who Walked on Windowsills - my brother's kitchen table in the morning.
Continuous - a laundromat which was previously a historic recording studio.
The North Sea IntimateMaff Stenning
Crackle and distortion like an old record sets the context for Maff Stenning's The North Sea Intimate. Allowing a couple minutes to introduce the dominant harmonies, it will take six minutes to reach the apex and four minutes to build back down. Maff's style is nostalgic of something precursory of electronic music.
Using a mixture of analog synthesizers and sampling with mainly melodic layers to keep rhythm, the two works feel like an archive of folk music presented as ambient. The second piece follows with similar sound design but is more muted and buried in reverb. Percussive rumbles swell and pop like unraveled low-end frequencies. This is the second release on Pinecone Moonshine in seven years to depart from Drum and Bass, 170bpm music.
Cross ProductDot Product :: Snaper :: K-Chaos :: Metro :: Nic TVG
Metro returns to Pinecone Moonshine with a remix of Dot Product's droning 56i 18j 144k. The empty, ambient layers are successfully combined with sparse percussion adding a strong rhythmic dimension. Snaper also returns this time with a Dub Techno inspired piece. Sparse percussion puts Muted deceptively in the 170 tempo range. Delayed and reverbed tones, noise, and the rhythm all change gradually over seven minutes.
Dot Product's Brief is also Techno inspired sticking to a mostly a 4/4 pattern and elongated reverberations. Nic TVG provides additional percussion including a few glimpses of a drum roll. K-Chaos wraps up the release with Crackles of Fire. The intro makes use of the earlier concepts of 4/4 rhythm and quiet, atonal ambients before opening up into Drumfunk.
Cut by 20Fada
Fada's Cut by 20 EP is built on sharp funk breaks dominated by the kicks and snares. Subtle growling bass sounds and layers of instruments manipulated into drones sparsely arranged as if improvised make a mostly inharmonic backdrop.
The title track offers only a few moments of harmony focusing on the drum break which is held steady with hi-hats and natural sounding syncopation. Transient Thought ups the intensity with a more mechanical drumming often breaking the flow and using drum change ups and the occasional few notes from a synth.
Brushes strays the most from the other tracks. Drones and dissonance remain, but horns, sustained vocals, tablas, and Indian flute are in the forefront. Layering in the Tighten Up break along with the other percussion makes for the densest moments of sound on the EP.
Vapours has been edited to be even murkier with pitched down effects and a heavy amount of distortion. The drums have been replaced with something more guttural flowing less like Drum and Bass and more like a funky drum solo.
Drum Funk IINic TVG
Very Close to Nothing combines two classic Drum and Bass breaks attempting coax the imperfections of the vinyl recording to the forefront. Lackadaisical piano playing and a slow harmony progression blend in with the noise of the drums.
From 2008, Transparent Lines is still one of my favorite pieces. Although there is only hints of percussion, it was a turning point in timbre and arrangement. This is the original mixdown and master that was not released.
Inspired by LXC's LFAnt, Bela begins with warm kicks and beeps put on filtered delays. The intro could have been built into a separate track as it leads into a heavily chopped funk break.
Greenleaf - Forward Motion / Zigaboo
Asymmetric - LSD
Greenleaf presents two New Orleans influenced drum funk style pieces. Sweeps and isolated tones, huge sustained reverbs, low stabs of sub leave the emphasis on the drum kits. Syncopated small plucks of guitar accentuate the rhythm in Forward Motion; the drums ringing and rushing. Zigaboo's main drum pattern stutters almost pushing and pulling with the tempo. Other drum breaks make an appearance but only for one or two bars at a time. Both feature a brief brief excerpt from an interview part way through making these fit like a part one and part two of the same idea.
Asymmetric's LSD bring the focus to Drumfunk by meticulously editing the Think break into new rhythms.
Macc - Compulsion / Stabbed in the Back
Liquid Break and Hidden Element - Outsider Blues (Icarus Remix) / Snaper - Déjà Vu
Macc's Compulsion begins suspended with tension as the tone and pace is set up. Two plucks and a string swell repeat setting the intention that this will be an intensely rhythm driven piece. The drummer keeps a fast groove with a ride cymbal pattern that only pauses a few times to reset for a distinct drum roll. The second half horns and strings add a bit of somberness before growing cacophonous and leading out.
Stabbed in the Back starts with detuned piano and curious testing of wood clacks before the main rhythm begins. What follows feels like a drummer absorbed with keeping time undistracted by the cacotopia around him.
Non Applicable's Icarus use bursts of the guitars, vocals, and bass of Outsider Blues and re-purpose them as inharmonic sounds and additional percussion only hinting at what the sounds once were. Vibrato, delays, distortion manipulate each sound building a dense layered arrangement. As the piece progresses, it unravels with excerpts of live drumming.
Shuffles and a steady single block hit create the sense of tempo leading into Déjà Vu by Snaper which goes extremely sparse but introduces fragments of break beats.