v/a: Evident Ware (Sneaker Social Club, 2020)

December 13, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

v/a: Evident Ware

Sneaker Social Club’s newest compilation is a testament to hardcore and jungle’s longevity over more than three decades, and while it isn’t a definitive survey of everyone making waves in this genre at the moment, there’s still a wealth of outstanding material to be heard. The best tracks here push breakbeat choppage as far as it can go while still being recognizable as club music, while also adding something unique. Etch’s “Monoxide” is super obtuse but still funky, and Egyptian producer ZULI folds some Arabic rapping into “3ankaboot”. DJ Guy’s remix of Manix’s classic “Special Request” actually de-emphasizes the hardcore and is more of a smooth, slightly dubby house cruiser. Christoph De Babalon takes things fra beyond the dancefloor into the realm of surreal cosmic horror with “Where Are You Going?” Clouds’ “Can’t Anticipate” isn’t as jungle as some of their other stuff, it’s more of a noisy club track with a beat that skips along and some damaged breaks in there. The Forest Drive West track has some heavy breaks, but it mainly seems to float in a void. Dream Cycle’s “ESP” is a bit more lush and bassy, but a little fried and burnt out. Ashford Knights’ “Sinkhole” moves from craggy breakbeats to bleeps and crystalline electro, then slaps ’em together. Soundbwoy Killah’s “Something Special” is halfway between breakbeat hardcore and speed garage, with time-stretched vocals and mutant bass as well as spinbacks. After that, there’s further winners from Konx-om-Pax, Hooverian Blur, and especially Anz, who mixes Outlander-style rave with dubstep and then accelerates into jungle at the very end.

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