Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Untold – Gonna Work Out Fine EP/Stop What You’re Doing (James Blake remix)/I Can’t Stop This Feeling (Pangaea remix) [Hemlock]

Its been a very big year for Untold with 12”s appearing on the regular that have torn up dance floors and confused the hell out of them too, sometimes both at once. His own label Hemlock has also been leading the way with fine examples of the UK’s freshest underground dance music with the likes of Fantastic Mr Fox & Rich Reason plus the brilliant James Blake all featuring. Now I’m not sure why I haven’t written about these 12”/10” until now they’ve been on my radar for ages not to mention being absolute percy’s, so instead of letting them slip…

The ‘Gonna Work Out Fine EP’ is a two-disc beast that explores an inspired concept and pallet of sounds to grate effect. Untold takes Chicargo house pianos, strings, kicks… the whole sherbang and twists it all up with the gnarly raw energy of grime and of course Untold’s own fresh take on dubstep. It’s an experiment that’s really paid off bringing a hell of a lot of fun and energy to dance floors all over the place as everyone from Gilles Peterson to Modeselektor and countless dubstep heads all reaching for it.

The title track takes a grimy percussive loop before dropping a smooth housy twinkles and chord sequences then dropping some huge pulse-x like bass on you and flipping out with skippy drums that make for some slinky grooves. Now onto one of my favourite tracks of the year, ‘Stop What You’re Doing’ really does make you freeze in your tracks. I’ve seen people go crazy for this as much as I have seen them utterly confused. He takes the beat-less eski style experimental grime template he did for the sublime ‘Anaconda’ and twists it even more, it’s taking Wiley’s ideas and running with them into the unknown, just like Zomby has done with ‘Mercury’s Rainbow’. The track twists and shifts into a massive grin inducing psychedelic club weapon that’s unlike anything else around right now. ‘Don’t Know, Don’t Care’ is the housy-est track of the lot so far using stabs and piano to full effect, in fact its like a Bob Sinclair summer time peak floor in Space anthem remixed by Wiley on the sly while he drinks Champaign with porn on in the background. It’s the stupidly infectious down turning bass motif that gets the hip wiggling, incredible track. The sexy little vocal samples splattered throughout really remind me of Lil Louis’ ‘French Kiss’… man I’d love to hear Untold fuck that one up…

The super slinky ‘Palamino’ is another highlight and sets disc two into motion. The pulsing organ licks and twinkling chimes offset the spectral pads that just keep rolling and building before all hell breaks loose and Untold’s knack for bumping percussion and energetic bass are unleashed, this time in an explosion of carnival vibes, that really show the UK funky crew how its done its really something. ‘No one Likes A Smart-Arse’ has a ravey edge to it not unlike the recent output of Hot City but with more bump, wiggle and flex. The closing track, ‘Never Went Away’ takes the supernova space station boogie that he used so well on the Hotflush 2 outing ‘Just For You’ but with the Gonna Work Out Fine sound pallet. So you get spaced out atmospheric pads like your entering a space station and the insane energy but all done in a super smooth house meets grime fashion, the bass is just so addictive and the high-end screech samples get you shaking it.

The remix 10” is an absolute killer too taking two very talented producers takes on Untold. First up is James Blake a guy we’ve only seen one 12” from until now, but what a record that was I for one can’t stop playing it. His sound is very unique taking in soulful almost gospel tinged R&B vocal samples, which he sings himself and twisted smeared synth lines that come out sounding like a freaky Joker experiment mixed with the group he does live vocals with Mount Kimbie. He turns in a inspiring remix of ‘Stop What You’re Doing’ where he ups the hype, adds some beats and lots of harmonies until you can’t take the building dance pressure anymore and it makes you want to move like your crazy. Pangaea works his garage muscles on his version of ‘I Can’t Stop This Feeling’, the original of which can be found on the flip to ‘Anaconda’ a track that is so full of energy and tension its insane. He takes that energy and harnesses it into his own unique 2-step sound; the result is the liveliest Pangaea track released yet. After his deeply emotional track ‘Memories’ this year it’s a really welcome release to have.

Next year Hemlock and Untold are set to continue the trend with releases from: Ramadanman, LV, Mount Kimbie and himself all dropping on the label, plus another brilliant track for the BRAiNMATH label soon and plenty of surprises I’m sure. Untold, his label and associates have made some of the freshest most fun and downright brilliant music this year. I for one cannot wait to see what they come up with next.

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