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White Noise: Kowton v Dusk – Kowton v Dusk EP

Monday, 23 January 2012

Kowton v Dusk – Kowton v Dusk EP

Label: Keysound


Looking At You

For the latest in a long running series of worthy collaborations between the UK dance hubs of London and Bristol, here Kowton marks his Keysound debut alongside joint label-head Dusk, who steps away from production partner and Rinse co-DJ Blackdown here for his first solo release. Each offers an on-point dissection of the UK’s current dance climate, with notable references to Dubstep, Garage and UK Funky across the course of the release.

Dusk’s cut Fraction shows him gunning full-throttle for menacing 2step vibes, with lightning-fast toms and an unstable bass wobble contrasting perfectly with eerie synth atmospherics. The tune sets up a great sound early on and holds it without any radical variation, but a tension-building synth pattern in the breakdown and the iridescent melody that follows it is more than enough to make this tune a success that could sit perfectly next to the productions of label-mate Sully or Breach. On the remix, Kowton ramps up the tension with a long atmospheric intro and creepy samples of children’s laughter, reinterpreting the tune as slow, skittish House to great effect.

Whichever way you look at it, the real standout here is Kowton’s contribution, Looking At You. Touching on UK Funky vibes and a fantastic Garage-style vocal line cut up and spread across the track. The beats are comprised of tight, skipping clicks and a harsh metallic clank, but what really draws you in here is the soft synths that compose the core of the track, shifting notes with precision and adding the finishing touch to the understated groove. Keysound had a great 2011 with fantastic releases by LV, Sully and Damu to name a few, and if this is a mission statement for 2012 then I’m very excited about what the future holds.


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