Available on: DFA 12″

The wait for Gavin Russom’s debut Black Meteoric Star 12″ has been so long – I mean, FACT interviewed him about the project in summer of last year – that I couldn’t help but fear anti-climax when it finally found its way onto my turntable yesterday morning.

Turns out the fear was misplaced. Both sides – ‘Death Tunnel’ and ‘World Eater’ – bang as mercilessly as their titles suggest. For me, ‘Death Tunnel’ [listen to clip here] is the weaker of the two: I can see it working it very well in the mix, but taken as a piece in its own right it feels overlong, the subtle bass modulations not quite enough to sustain the casual listener’s interest over its hefty duration. I’m not saying it won’t sound monumental in the club.

Instead, head straight for ‘World Eater’ [listen to clip here]. Though not a straightforward jack-track, there’s real funk to this cut – Armando, Mike Dunn and Steve Pointdexter are all apposite references – while the arpeggiated synth licks that surf the groove will leave you in no doubt that this is a DFA-signed record. Believe it or not, it’s the skittering, airtight snap-claps which are the star of the show – they outshine even the wailing melody line that sounds like it was coaxed out of a characterful old synth but could just as easily be heavily distorted guitar. Where ‘Death Tunnel’ feels over-indulgent, the similarly lengthy ‘World Eater’ sounds far-reaching, cosmic in scope.

Beryl Alkan



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