Compound One Compound OnePum Pum Beat
COMPOUND ONE (CMPD008, 12” + digital)
With the first volume of what is now a prolonged and generous series, Compound One, a new desertion from the drum’n’bass army over to dubstep took place. There had already been many, and this was fresh proof of the change of balance in the rave continuum. Fracture and Qualifide took part in that adventure, two rhythm surgeons who had deposited their nervous breaks on classic liquid jungle labels like Droppin’ Science or Bassbin. Compound One on the other hand was their escape route to slower tempos, less shining dark sounds and a rhythm pattern that left stress aside. Nothing that hadn’t happened before, nothing that should surprise us, but we have to at least applaud the consistency with which they’ve been working. It wasn’t a phase for them, not at all. This eighth Compound One release offers very diverse material, depending on your choice of the 12” vinyl or the digital release. If you choose MP3, there’s an exclusive track, “Tud Naat”, and its remix. Once more, nothing special: a dense and lazy manoeuvre in the margins of dubstep, with a sub-bass that drags on like a snake, and Qualifide giving it a varnish of dark post-garage guided by a tough techno beat in the remix. At the same time, the digital release includes the two cuts of the vinyl, two excursions into the open spaces of dubstep. “Pum Pum Beat” retains the jungle influence in the intertwining of breaks and their organisation via echoes, bass lines and backspin effects, but the single’s true value is in “Back Off”, a track featuring a wealth of divas, sharp vocals and lukewarm textures that vaguely sound like the boy wonders of future garage, Joy Orbison and Ramadanman.
Claude T. Hill