Ah, where to start with this one? The music? The clever marketing? Or both? Objekt follows up his “mysterious” dubstep 12”s and that split release for Young Turks with SBTRKT of last year in this, the most mind-bending dance music vinyl you’re likely to hear for the next few months – potentially, even the entirety of 2012. Let’s see.
As prickly and awkward to handle as its namesake, “Cactus” is the kind of jam you sometimes wish current underground dance music gave us more of – until you remind yourself that if it did, it wouldn’t be anywhere nearly as exciting anymore. The young Berlin-based producer plays with established templates and expectations on “Cactus,” leading you one way before slapping you in the face and sending you flying the other way when the drops are unleashed. The off-kilter rhythm is infectious like an itch you cannot let go of, while the low end work and use of wobble to carry additional rhythmic movement is quite frankly the best use of it since Loefah and Coki set the bar higher than anyone could reach back sometime in 2006. A call for rewind bliss that innovates rather than imitate.
“Porcupine” on the flip continues the awkward theme, though it’s a little straighter than its counterpart. Objekt’s techno background is also much more apparent there, with a tough percussive jam that still offers surprises and builds up rather beautifully. Once the bass kicks in you find yourself wondering where in the hell it came from. From then on, you just let yourself glide on the spines and enjoy the uncomfortable but oh-so-pleasant ride.
This 12” is a testament to Hessle Audio’s growing notoriety as a really forward-thinking, unafraid label. What Ben UFO and Ramadanman are doing with the label and its output is a direct continuation of what the likes of Hyperdub started years ago. There is an anchoring in various established styles and genres, though this serves merely as the jumping-off point for recruiting producers like Objekt who can really push at the seams and make things exciting. Oh yeah, as for the clever marketing, well let’s just say if you come across the official press release for this, savour it, because it’s great. I’ll leave you with one of my favourite lines from it: “From below as if the body is muscular rock sound, the words of the author's case, dub step, three steps are a complex mixture of core and base, garage, techno.”