Appleblim & Ramadanman Appleblim & RamadanmanVoid 23
AUS MUSIC (AUS1031, 12” + digital)
This is, possibly, the point Appleblim and Ramadanman wanted to reach. Their exit from the dubstep hardcore was a process that moved them further and further out of the eye of the hurricane. The mobile duo (Blim in Bristol, Man in London) were a satellite fighting to get out of orbit and enter spatial confinement. Everything they released on Apple’s label Pips was a rehearsal for “Void 23”: the progressive substitution of the ground-shaking bass lines with the classic rhythmic structure of kicks and snares to cross territories and oceans in search of the promised land, Detroit. Some people will think this change of sonic priorities is a betrayal of their cultural heritage –that of the rave continuum– and a step back at that. Both interpretations are valid. But it’s also true that it was the English new school itself which injected fresh blood into it’s arteries in the form of global techno. “Void 23” sounds like cosmic techno but with the energy of tracks that want to leave their mark on history or, at least, in the club at peak-time. It’s a nine minute hypnotic voyage that hits you where it should: in the heart and stomach. It’s nine minutes of tension, of apparent minimalism and stillness, but which takes you on a roundtrip to dark strips on the outskirts of space. And above all, it’s nine minutes guided by a persistent buzzing that stays in your head. It doesn’t reach anthem levels, but “Void 23” could be this year’s “Mouth To Mouth” (Audion), only deeper, and with a Carl Craig edit on the B-side that cuts off the most derivative part of the original and focuses, with martial discipline, on solidifying the rhythmic architecture for nine more minutes. Devastating.