Sunday, December 26, 2010
Altered Natives - No Mortgage EP
A1 The Rain
A2 Heavenly Melodies
B1 No Mortgage
Also known as Danny Native, Altered Natives had a busier 2010 than just about anybody—and if 2010 is going to be remembered as anything, it will be as a busy year. Dropping a defining album, loads of standalone 12-inches and a clutch of MP3s to SoundCloud, he's a great example of the way that London-centered bass has thrown up not only amazing records and a lively template that musically has benefited a lot of what surrounds it, but also a lot of artists with distinct touches. It can take time to sort them out, but Altered Natives comes on straightaway—especially impressive given that more so than a dense commingling of current bass's various inputs like so many others (think of the crossing referents of Lone, Girl Unit or F), he tends to shuffle between fairly well-defined genres. Mastering the whole for him means mastering the parts.
The No Mortgage EP features four soulful house tracks: two vocal sample numbers on the A, two instrumentals on the B. It's not kaleidoscopic—that's for albums. But it's joyous in a way that's easy to approximate but harder to make seem effortless, ingrained. Take "Heavenly Melodies," featuring a lightly cut-up gospel-choir sample: "I'll think about it," over and over. It's a big revolving backdrop, like in a Hanna-Barbera cartoon, and it works perfectly as both a pastiche of early '90s Nu Groove and a starry-eyed right-now track in its own right. "The Rain" radically alters an Ann Peebles vocal sample (taking a gruff woman and turning her to a vulnerable man) over something you could hear DJ Funk want to speed up. "No Mortgage" is sunset piano house with a basic keyboard solo; it sounds like someone's satisfied set-closer. And "Voyage" dusts off some Italo synths with elegant restraint. It's a decent place to start....www.residentadvisor.net