Lee Bannon: Main/Flex (Babygrande, 2014)

November 9, 2014 at 4:52 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Lee Bannon: Main/Flex

Lee Bannon: Main/Flex

New EP from innovative former hip-hop producer, whose Alternate/Endings album was an excellent jungle throwback and one of my favorite albums of the year. This album continues to turn towards leftfield, exploring some of the dark jungle textures as before, but also with kind of a dark 2-step/garage vibe that puts him in the same league as Burial. “RMF-1” explores this territory nicely, with eerie chanting samples and an insistent 2-step beat. “RMF-2” is a sad, drifty interlude-like piece with some sad violin and lonely cries in the background, and some sort of rustling, packing-up noises in the beginning. “RMF-3” brings the tearout jungle breaks, and apparently features someone from Anthrax, though I’m not sure exactly what he’s doing. The breaks sound muted and faraway, though, almost like they’re coming from another room. “RMF-4” has punchy, almost gabber-like beats, and “RMF-5” has more smushed jungle breaks along with another clacking 2-step beat. “MFS-1” starts out with a flurry of chopped, distorted beats and vocal samples, then settles into another shuffling UK garage beat with a vibrant bassline. “MFS-2” features Deejay Earl of juke crew Teklife, and kicks things up into thudding, skittering d’n’b breaks, but still with a sort of distant, far-away quality to them. “MFS-3” scrambles the beats up into something convoluted and Schematic-esque. “MFS-4” slices some Amen breaks finely, before jumbling them up and then progressively getting faster and crazier, before an abrupt ending. An interesting diversion from a producer who just continues to get stranger and better.

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