February 6, 2012

Preview: HES019 - Objekt - Cactus / Porcupine

Much awaited return for Hessle Audio - the label everyone's been talking about. It's been a dreary 9 months since Ben Ufo, Ramadanman and Pangaea, last managed to squeeze some record pressing in their overcrowded schedules; 9 months which translated in just enough time to pour the foundation and build up the hype for HES019 - Objekt's contribution.

If you live in a cave or you just can't get your head around using the internet properly, you most certainly have no idea who Objekt is. A fella who lives in Germany, DJs in the UK, has remixed SBTRKT's Wildfire, builds tunes somewhere inbetween Techno and Bass Music (yes, we intentionally avoided the use of the term Dubstep) and loves to put them out on limited hand-stamped white labels (which apparently serve a purpose both as records and hipster food plates as well...so we've heard). Anyway, no diss involved. We've identified him as a meticulous and inspired producer ever since Tinderbox got a release out of nowhere; and apparently so did Hessle's A&R.

The two tracks that hit the virtual friday shipping shelves on Feb. 6th however, despite sharing more boldness and freshness than everything on the H.A. catalogue (except for Untold's Anaconda and Joe's Claptrap) and despite being A-class productions, as a whole just don't seem to be raising up to the expectations.

For the past couple of months I've made a mission out of understanding the hype surrounding Cactus. No result. I tried accepting it and giving it some credit for what it's got: an unbelievably well structured spaced-out percussion, some serious tweaking effort behind the lo-range wobble bass concerto and on-point / on-target breakdowns and drops. All of this even though I'm not really vibing to it.

To be honest, I realised it's all a matter of quality. On its own Cactus is a decent track. Well build, has the potential to be a club banger if dropped at the right time, in the right place and for the right people. It's surprising enough, it comes from one of UK's finest labels, it gets air time on Rinse from the likes of Ben Ufo or Oneman, it's broken enough, it's bassy enough and it's made by a guy who owns a weird haircut.

To be brutally honest, I also realised it's nothing more than a matter of vibe and how and when you were introduced to this particular sound. If you just came in through the front door (and the front door has James Blake's and Blawan's names written all over it) Cactus will probably deliver a full-on revelation. And it deserves to be appreciated for that. However, if you were buying Pinch's records on Planet Mu and Tempa in 2008-2009 or you've heard Spiders on Brainmath...not so much. Simple as that.

Objekt - Cactus / Porcupine

The flipside manages to save some (most of the) interest. Porcupine tends to forget about pleasing broken-beats munching, Brainfeeder listening fellas out there and delivers a far more interesting approach to Techno (?!) and the sort-of Drexcyian aquatic Electro derivations that turned the whole Bass Music world upside down last year. Lots of acid synths usage and a punching linear drumline topped by a fully oxigenated Echospaced breakdown that would make Appleblim and the lot shove two fingers in their mouths and whistle their lungs out.

A good DJ tool that acts like a riddim transfusion in pretty much any circumstance one could possibly think of.

Even though it's part of a sound we've kept hearing for the past 12 months, the track resonates quite well with the direction Hessle adventured in by putting out Pangaea's Inna Daze and Pev's Dance Till The Police Comes last year. Something that sits much closer to Hessle's brand new, post-Joe self-imposed quality standard.

So, to draw up a couple of conclusions:

- Decent debut outside the white label world for Objekt.
- Decent release for Hessle. Not great. Not outstanding. Decent.
- If you're a DJ and you're not 16; keep supporting the label. Buy the whole record. Spin just one half (the one that doesn't have Cactus on it).
- I'm probably gonna end up spinning Porcupine out there myself.
- And please nod and agree that Hessle needs a new Joe release.

Friday shipping for Monday delivery on Redeye Records.

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