Something about the United Kingdom foments the growth of dark, twisted bass music so properly, and our friends at Wonk#ay Records serve up the latest example of this well established relationship with Pull Up. This ambitious release showcases the talents of Objcts, Dystopik, Rupta, Zimbu, and includes an absolutely smashing collaboration from neuro heavy-weights Kursa and Seppa. All six producers come correct with their signature idiosyncrasies and sound design exploits.
In October of 2017, Wonk#ay Records had heads spinning with their compilation Feed the Contagious. This collection of tunes was a mutagenic foray into the most aggressive corners of contemporary low end production, and received an explosive response from fans and fellow producers alike. This time around, Wonk#ay presents a more compressed package (pun intended), and while they scaled down the size, the impact is no less visceral.
Objcts has perhaps the most melodious approach on the EP with “Here’s One I Prepared Earlier” graciously combining the stark, staccato textures of neuro-hop with the occasional stab and fading of delicious chimes and lead tones in the upper registers. With a constant beat in the backdrop, and a few well placed rhythmic breaks, the head-nod is strong with this aural serving.
Dystopik’s “Running Away” opens with ambient rumblings and distorted pads washing tones over the track. Quick incoming is a soft sing-song melody occasionally giving way to a voluptuous snare on the downbeat. Over the course of 90 seconds the whole track destabilizes into a maelstrom of down-sampled synthesis and rugged glitch textures that reinforce the experimental arrangement and tonal design.
Rupta wastes no time jumping right into the action with “Repochushions”; 12 seconds in and the track has already descended into a combination of shredded textures over a drumstep rhythm. The entire track is a solid thwack of choked-up bass tones and wild frequency shifts, a thick harmony of constant evolution and 100% pure beef.
While both devilishly impressive on their own terms, Kursa and Seppa often come together to produce some of the most aggressive, far-out, boisterous songs in rotation within the wider bass music community. “Pris” a bold and demonstrably vicious addition to the Pull Up EP, with brain-melting bass lines that crunch, fold, warp, and stutter-step their way through the entire composition. By the time the second half of the song comes into focus, this machine-gun-laser-annihilation takes a turn for the stretched-out and wobbly. Even more deranged bass movements envelope everything from 0-300hz in a firebrand strike of uncouth synthesis.
Zumbu closes out the compilation with his contribution “Higher”, and spares no effort in flexing straight bass weight right onto the listener’s head. With an almost slapstick percussion arrangement carrying on for the entire track, every phrase and refrain is particularly unique and programmed with a multitude of synthesis dialogue and asymmetrical audio manipulation.
With the content of each successive release becoming more high-octane than the last, Wonk#Ay Records has set before themselves a formula that brings success to their labelmates and collaborative partners. Curating such niche catalogs while maintaining well-flavored artist pairing is no easy task, and somehow they rise to the occasion every time. Be contienscious in the months ahead, as Wonkay is certainly far from finished with their arsenal of releases for 2018.
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