Creeping up and out of the atmosphere of Gastropodia Prime is perhaps one last slug for the year of 2018, and like all the rest, he's a real slime ball; Fanu is the musical alias of Janne Hatula, a broken-beat trailblazer based out of Helsinki, Finland. Alongside his alternate alias FatGyver, Hatula has spent more than two decades honing his production skillset and musical affluence, and developing a keen understanding for DnB slappers and breakbeat sizzlers. As a DJ, a producer, a mixing/mastering engineer, and an Ableton-certified trainer, he is juggling every role simultaneously with a grace reserved for long-time veterans of the soul-grinding global music industry. Tapped to create the third volume of the Whack Lack series, Hatula chose to don the Fanu moniker for this lightly salted and slightly dusted release.
Straight out of the gate, Fanu flips the script right on it’s head. Combining low fidelity textures with pounding bass lines and massively compressed percussion, Whack Lack Vol. 3 is perhaps the most ferocious battlewax release from the slugs to date. Opening with a harmonized female vocal line, “coil” quickly breaks down into an unexpected burst of gritty wobbles and limiter-busting drum lines. With no rest from start to finish, this first track on the release is a quick hair-splitter that sets a beefy tone for the compositions that follow. Responding in kind to the intensity of the opening track, “lack of talent” is anything but what it’s name implies. Fanu opts for a shuffled rhythm to bring up the energy, with snares that bunch up and split off at asymmetrical intervals in tandem with pulsing sub movement.
“moogsluggery” slithers its way through speaker cones with a dissonant melody and a consistent percussive march. A choice vocal sample sets the mood aptly, proclaiming “This place gives me the creeps”. Shortly thereafter, that familiar Moog warmth busts out through the low-end, making the track smack with an open-palmed, disciplinarian strike. “w95” is a straightforward gunslinger beat, rocking a distorted sub line and a golden-era drum rhythm. As the track progresses, the stereo space gradually fills with manipulated white noise, sparing pads, and the occasional airy arpeggio. The final piece of this Whack Lack puzzle is “ööh”, playfully named for the sound you’ll probably make once you sink down headfirst into the mix. The smoothest track on the record by far, this solid hop-hop composition is propped up by fleeting horn samples and a few sly measures of rap vocal cuts. A blunderbuss sub bass warps into each bar, expanding on refrains and sliding in concert with smokey bursts of minor chords in the upper registers.
Alongside the likes of Maru and Seppa, Fanu will no doubt arrive intp the good graces of those who follow the Whack Lack series. The well of talent that Slug Wife continues to draw from seems to be without end. Their international cabal of associated producers and musicians gives them a particular upper hand when looking to branch out from their standard fare of razor-edged synthesis and gut-busting breakdowns. With 2019 rapidly incoming, Fanu’s battlewax contribution feels a lot like a holiday present from our UK slimeball friends, and we couldn’t be happier about it. Be sure to stay up to date on the revolving door of Slug Wife premiers, as it is resoundingly clear that the total slug invasion has only just begun.