Saturday, June 25, 2011
Bass Clef - Rollercoasters of the Heart / So Cruel
1. Rollercoasters of the Heart
2. So Cruel
Give Ralph Cumbers, AKA Bass Clef, this much: He got the title of his newest A-side exactly right. James Lawrence of dance blog The Veal Pen refers to "Rollercoasters of the Heart" as "rave-step," and while that may be a step too far for the anti-neologist brigade (or, worse, the "there's only two kinds of music—good and bad" bores), it sounds exactly right to me. The clanking, oscillating synths and garbled diva samples are chopped and presented fresh like steak tartare. The beat keeps shifting but never feels willful, snares ricocheting over oscillating filter envelopes like an airplane starting to shake. The bass is forceful enough to rough you up and measured enough to make you pay attention. The track is candy-colored and menacing, always a smart combination.
"So Cruel" is a more obviously future-forward track, meaning that the low-end roll, slivered diva croon and craggy, trapped-under-ice snare all feel like a bionic version of something from five years ago instead of 20. It's a cool, weird one: the spongy, metallic synths seem to enter from oblique angles even when they recur regularly, and the robo-soul vocal adds real feeling, however show-offy its processing. What's more, both sides feel like halves of a conversation, which happens less often than it ought to...www.residentadvisor.net