Bok Bok Bok BokSouthside EP
NIGHT SLUGS (NS010, digital)
It’s unbelievable that, so far, Bok Bok hadn’t released a proper record. Responsible for the Night Slugs parties, now label boss, his name is on remixes, some collaborations (L-Vis 1990, Cubic Zirconia) and, most of all, on flyers with big, fluorescent letters. But never on a 12” ( “Southside EP”, for now, is a digital release, but the vinyl will be out soon) as the essential producer on the British bass scene that he is. These five tracks should only be for DJs who want to start a party, but they’ve turned into an event: Bok Bok makes his debut on the scene with his own music and, quelle surprise, it’s incredibly good.
The hybrid Night Slugs thing is in full effect here: cascades of amorphous house, resounding basslines, grime influences, horns and acid rain in a futurist and even apocalyptic style of sound design. So far, on the 12”s by L-Vis 1990, Velour, Mosca, Egyptrixx and other Night Slugs artists, the sounds were what Bok Bok had in mind for a sun-hating London that never wants to see the dawn. Now, he does it himself, from his brain enlightened by the endorphins to his dirty hands handling the vinyl. The opener, “Charisma Theme”, is brilliant, with an outbreak of violent acid over a vintage rhythm box, pure Phuture in times of dirty breaks. The second cut, “Hyperpass”, is even more destructive: it starts with darkcore-style, metallic voices and develops like a primitive 8-bar, with buzzing basslines on the verge of breaking like a tense chord. “Reminder” is an exaggerated and hysterical variation of the funky rhythm, and “Silo Pass” and “Look Dub” are two 2003-grime studies.
I wouldn’t like to be in Bok Bok’s brain, it seems a bit like a grinder with falty speeds. But I definitely want more of his music. His first attempt is a winner, the freshest thing coming out of the current London underground.
Claude T. Hill