Available on: Apple Pips 12″

Generally speaking, Apple Pips has thus far proven to be a label where individualism reigns – from the traumatized breakbeats of T++ to the 16-bit neo-garage of Brackles and Beat Pharmacy’s low-slung dub-techno. As a platform for sophisticated bur original production voices, it’s pretty much unparalleled right now; I mean, just look at this new killer two-tracker from forward-thinking d’n’b types Instra:mental.

A-side ‘Leave It All Behind’ could almost be described as deep, electro-influenced house – it’s not a million miles away from Floating Points’ recent releases, actually, or lighter Drexciya stuff like The Other People Place’s Lifestyles of The Laptop Cafe. The squelched-out, melodious synths and robo-vocals inevitably remind me also of Darkstar’s compressed computer-soul; it’s impressive stuff to be sure, but for me the real action is on the B-side.

Drum ‘n bass? Dubstep? House? ‘Forbidden’ is all and none of these things, a swinging, minimal and unmistakeably British rave hybrid with groove and elasticity to spare. Think recent Shed and Peverelist productions, but less ponderous, more garagey, all hanging on a maddeningly simple bass hook and bordered by crisp, panoramic dub chords.

A riveting night-ride through bass music’s rhythmic grey area, it’s difficult to think of a more compelling 12″ to be released this month.

Benjamin Baglin



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