Anti-G Anti-GPresents Kentje’sz Beatsz
If you've heard Anti-G 's name before, it probably came packaged with the buzzword, “bubbling”. Despite its currency the term is said to date from the late 80s, when DJs in the Netherlands (typically migrants from former colonies) started running Jamaican dancehall records at the wrong speed. Although they found crowds hooked by the translation of tempo and vibe, these days clubs are reportedly overrun by popular Dutch house music. This has lead a younger generation – including cousins De Schuurman and Shaun-D – to synthesise a style called “bubbling house”.
Rather than the toast of the scene, it's more believable picturing 18 year old Kenrick Connor stuck in his bedroom, a kind of hacker bending cracked software into use. Alias Anti-G, he styles titles such as “OepSs Te Hard!” and “THE FUCKING ERROR!!!!!!!” as if to betray his habitat as unruly backwaters of the internet. In fact, beachcombing Dutch social networking services was in the past the best way to turn up these tracks, as well as others compiled on his first album, the just about uniformly excellent “Kentjesz Beatsz”.
Like his peers he starts with a restricted palette of sounds apparently designed to give an electric jolt at several paces from a speaker. Unlike them, he declines to flesh out arrangements, dynamics and the frequency spectrum in the ways dancers and DJs expect. His short, sometimes violent sketches are more likely to set nerves on edge. Most sound as if recorded inside a metal box, swamped with the dead reverberations of air horns and sirens. Many are scarred with sour shrieking noises, apt to induce goose-bumps, and rattled by bone-jarring polyrhythms.
If the defining mood is pugnacious, it's nonetheless neither straight-faced nor unforgiving. Even tense stabs at catharsis like “CrazyShit” and “Bubbling Cause Trouble” are lightened by playfulness and a rugged form of subtlety. Nor does monotony rear its head, as in places he ekes out breathing room for twitches of cyborg soca or mechanised calypso ( “A Hype Up System”, “Trille Tot Je Doodvall!”). In others ( “Its Just Fresh Hiphop”, “Turn The Hiphop On”, “Reggeaton Man!”) the tempo slackens to a tar-like pace, comparatively. That his aesthetic can be ugly, single minded, nuanced and pluralist all at the same time proves him one of the rare, compelling oddballs who thrive on the scrap heaps of genres’ lumpen raw materials.
It’s tempting to blame ubiquitous “studio in a box” technology for the way so much dance music appears studious and safe by nature now. Conceivably, for the first time, it makes accurate pastiche, say, easier than raw experimentation. With the same tools however (specifically the Fruityloops program famously also used by Skream) Connor reaffirms the art of not giving a fuck about that stuff. As on other occasions lately, his label Planet Mu deserve credit for lifting some staggering music out of relative obscurity.
“Oepps Te Hardd!”