Available on: Numbers 12″
A collaboration between the now discontinued Wireblock, Dress 2 Sweat and Stuff labels, Glasgow’s Numbers doesn’t plan on slipping onto your radar quietly. Offering up a hybrid monster of florescent Ed Banger disco and helplessly crunked-up party fervour, the label’s first release, The Golden Handshake EP comes courtesy of Low Limit and Lando Kal, a pair who work in tandem as Lazer Sword, but here helm a side of this split release each.
Lando Kal’s ‘3D Action Jackson’ would probably make a more convincing new Justice track than ‘Beginning of the End’ – which had some people duped earlier this year. Glitchy in the extreme, its flanging chords and tripping kicks make for an energetic piece of electro. As yawning synthesized gulps give way to its breakdown – like if Xavier and Gaspard went dubstep – it prepares you for a fully dancefloor smashing EP. Subsequent tracks ‘Fuzzy Ankles’ and ‘Exotic Jesus’ sadly don’t quite match the opening track’s exuberance, opting for a less hyperactive pace, but the sheer weight of both tracks’ lung-quivering bass and mangled vocals are still far, far superior to the glut of mediocre blog house about.
Both Low Limit and Lando Kal are quick to establish their individual sounds on this release. While Lando Kal tears through a whirlwind of genres – fusing slippery dubstep rhythms and jagged disco without any hint of gimmickry – Low Limit shows a mastery of FlyLo style hip-hop. ‘Where You Been 7.0’ is a floor-filler for the darkest parties you’ve never heard of, three minutes of double-kick hip-hop eventually torn apart by scummy low frequencies. ‘Trapperkeeper’ is even darker; indeed, each of Low Limits songs here seem to have multiple personalities swimming through them. ‘Where You Been 7.5’ is feral and overwhelming, an aural rainbow of delicate, Zomby-esque synths one moment and bruised, aggressive tones in the next.
From French disco synths to Bristolian basslines, this American duo demonstrate considerable European influence, and Golden Handshake has personality in abundance, even if it does seem like some of it’s loaned from Ed Banger. While the duo don’t quite reach the peaks of comparable work by Rustie, Zomby or Flying Lotus, they do offer their own unique development of that not-quite-definable, ‘wonky’ bracket. Hopefully Numbers have started as they mean to continue, and 2010 sees similar levels of skewed, genre-gobbling energy on their future releases.