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Honest Jon's Records

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This is a recent 12" from UK producer Sam Shackleton. There are four tracks here -- two tunes and two remixes.

The A-side starts off with Fireworks. A whooshing space sound reverbs while some kind of vocal sample plays in the distance, meandering for almost two minutes before the drumbeat kicks in. As a hi-hat ticks away, the keyboards soar and the bass rumbles. This is a deep spacey epic, with the percussion very sparse out in the typical dubstep manner. At times, he uses echoed African drum samples, and that really takes me back to the Excursions in Ambience. This track would have been right at home on that epic series of compilations.

The next track is the Auseen Vor Remix by Monolake side-project T++. This remix is old school Orb-ish dub: there are lots of echoes on the various sounds, which creates a vaguely disorienting effect when you listen on headphones. I know that this style of music is called dubstep, but T++'s remix adds even more echo and spaces the percussion out even further, reminding me of The Orb, or Scientist's spacier work, meaning that this, really, is proper dub.

The B-side kicks off with Undeadman. This song features a sample of a female voice repeating "Everyone starts from point one" over a faint tapping, some echo, and some spacey sounds. After a minute or so, a beat comes in, a clattering bass rumble. Again, this is pretty cool stuff. There is a silly little keyboard melody that wanders by every so often, making the song feel a little happier than perhaps the title would lead one to think.

This is followed by ReMMix by Mordant Music. Mordant takes this song and makes it darker, with more reverbing and deep rumblings. As it grows, it gets a little funky for a while, and suddenly i am reminded of FSOL, who also tempered the darkness of their later work with some funky beats. This is a good thing.

I have found this 12" to be some pretty interesting listening. In general, i like what Shackleton is doing, and the two remixes add a little further depth to each song. If you are a fan of the electronic music coming out of the UK these days, then you will probably like this.

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