TBR: 7th September
Cressida returns to Voitax with a brand new EP. This time the original Londoner who resettled in Berlin is attacking the grime and hardcore genres with an electronica battering ram. It's okay, those guys like that sort of thing. Voitax have established a keen reputation for highlighting the cream of contemporary dance music and this lucky 21 on the register cements the ethic like a star in the pavement. Does the artist refer to the racial slur or the Soviet martial art with the title of this EP? Combat without weapons sounds more exciting and shaming those who may have ridiculed him by operating at the top of his trade definitely feels good.
The music begins with the title track as heavenly sounds merge with a vocal sample, distant and harmonious. A pulsating rhythm pushes forward which is followed by sudden surged of throbbing and resonant bass. Then, smashes of drum fill crack the ice in shattering riffs which scatter into each other. The music pauses, letting the air out, then begins again at a more tempered pace. The same ferocious pang sits interestingly in chapter like bars of sound which swell and eddy with disparate energy. Gradually the sounds build into cacophonous punches, one at a time, as huge drumming and thundering bass collapse into the stereo sound-scope.
Next is Al Gore Riddim. It opens with a straight forward beat that soon evaporates into a mist foray of cymbals, snare, and bass. The repeating licks rattle against tempo structures and loop formulae as stuttering percussion reveals vocal and static swirling tones. Touch-dial like melodies reverberate through corridors of drum and slamming doors. The full-on hedonistic rhythm pushes on with technological fury as electronic sonics dapple and split into ghettoline spectra. Staggered bass and thrashing cymbals playfully bounce I hyperactive squash games against ever closing walls.
The third number begins with a smooth and laid back beat. Drums and cymbals clamber on a sunny axis as various luminous tones rain down in sluggish rays. Vocal marks a section and a deep submariner bass throttles with resonant sonar up-draft. As the bass swells into vortices of entrenched kinesis, sprinkles of upper beats mutate and evolve with continual impetus. Move To The Witness has less wall and more cloud, an ambient end to the A side of the record.
Turing over the vinyl shows us Rapunzel. This mythical long-haired princess is represented by a catchy snappy snare-based beat that is accompanied by tenderising bass drops at sporadic intervals. A melancholy section is persuaded into the groove as sombre bells chime in a simple melodic flush. Moving parts of the track swirl and twist which match up varying resolution of pattern that work to illuminate a network of avenues which twist into one guide-rope. The music is interrupted by a phone-in caller who requests something new. Rather than immediately change, the DJ smoothly transitions from one form to another while maintaining the soul of the track. Clever stuff.
This is followed by an angular infusion of choral voices, hidden behind an oscillating gate. Then, smotherings of rhythm expand from seeds of sound. Vines and creepers reach up into spongy top-soil then out into the open air as breezy percussion air-washes the newly formed leaves. Splitting tones and sprinkles of powerful rhythm create mental vectors filled with spacial awareness then garnished with just enough dots to make a picture. Breaking Parallel runs side by side with introspection and hypnotic tempo.
The final number is titled The Place Beyond Your Meadow. It begins on an ocean wave, sloshing slowly against a warm shore. Resonant tones vibrate in sunshine interludes which begin to harmonise and create mirages of sound. Slow and graceful opening of petals like blue lilies on the shores of the Nile meet breathy voices that chant in spell-binding notes. Radiant shards of chord beam down as speckles of melodic foundation break through the sandy underway. It's a beautiful transition from the full-on spectacle offered at the other end of this remarkable record.
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Visit Voitax Records online
And find their music on Bandcamp
Rowan Blair Colver for The Electro Review.