Amidst the aural chaos and calamity of Slug Wife’s ongoing invasion of the United States, the label continues to put out top-tier sound system slappers. Their most recent offering is Sandrock, an EP from long-time label collaborator and frequency freak Reso. It’s filled with pulverizing low-end, naughty rhythmic jaunts, and flexible dance-floor compositions. This release actually marks the second full year of Slug Wife’s existence, and there couldn’t be a better set of tracks to commemorate the occasion.
Sandrock is replete with all of the guttural synthesis and slanted hip-hop rhythms that Reso fans have come to expect in the past few years since the producer’s relative departure from drum and bass. Gut-busting bass lines and meter-slamming downbeats dominate the record, while augmented melodies and brain-tickling glitch artifacts paint a foreboding background. “Flexible Neck” opens the record with drizzling arpeggios and sharp-clawed stabs. All throughout the track, an impending sense of a hammer pounding a proverbial nailhead is created through clever pitch modulation and percussive elasticity. Amplifying the pure rhythmic power of the EP, “Gastroplaz” takes things in a particularly slimy direction. Bandpass filters blast across the frequency spectrum, juicing up those especially nasty bits of low-end in between bouts of wild FM modulation.
Kicking the tempo up just a notch, “Chuckin Up” scoops the mid-range and flashes between monstrous sub movements and high-end pulses. The staccato percussion and juggled arrangement flip the track inside out, upside down, right-side up, and every direction in between in a break-neck dash for the speaker cones. Closing out the record, “Loshun” opens up with lush minor chords over a cascading drum line. Ramping up the energy for an appropriate climax, the evolution of textures resolves into a cornucopia of bass weight and jazz modalities, setting the record straight on Reso’s musical vision.
With each successive release, Reso reminds discerning listeners why he’s earned such a vaunted place in the wider world of bass music. Influencing younger producers on both sides of the Atlantic, he’s a highly sought-after agent of the low-end not satisfied to rest on his laurels. There’s many opportunities to catch Reso this summer, including a headlining performance at the Mercury Lounge hosted by The Rust Music on June 22, as well as plays at Camp Bisco and Disc Jam.