On first impressions of hearing this “Bohla EP”: it’s definitely not dubstep (nor post-dubstep), in spite of Blawan having emerged from the scene. Let’s look back: his first 12” was released at the end of 2010 on Hessle Audio, a manual of modern percussion that caused a stir among the mutant DJs of the British bass and bleeps scene. This one, released on R&S, his second EP, leads us to two conclusions: Blawan’s career is about to take off like a rocket now that he’s signed to the mythical Belgian label, which over the past months has taken James Blake, Pariah and Space Dimension Controller to new post-club electronica stardom. R&S is like the Chelsea FC or Manchester City of record labels, always picking up the best players with the chequebook in hand and hoping that the music will succeed and sell loads of copies. For now, the label’s second life is going quite well, and “Bohla EP” is an impressive addition to a catalogue that has been almost flawless over the past year.
But, as I said, we can’t call this dubstep or anything similar. The dubstep is there, in the breaks and the bass weight, but what Blawan does is closer to an apocalyptic (and slowed) version of somewhat dark house. On “Bohla” (the track), “Kaz” and “Lavender” there is an asphyxiating pressure, a rhythm with 4x4 tendencies, and an economic and intelligent use of the acid lines of the 303: it’s not quite acid, but there is just enough of it for this slow motion hard house to blow your mind. Every time I left a club where the DJ played this –the last one was Jackmaster, at the time I didn’t know what the tune was, a little bird had to tell me–, I felt like kicking the clouds. So imagine what kind of bomb I’m talking about. Add to crate immediately.