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White Noise: 2562 – Air Jordan

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

2562 – Air Jordan

Label: When In Doubt

Even in a musical world saturated by quality producers who have been knocking out classics since way back when, Dave Huismans is different. Alright, he hasn’t been around for quite as long as some, but Huismans has some legendary producers more than beat in terms of innovation. Kicking off by expanding Dubstep’s narrowing horizons as 2562, he then proceeded to release a slew of releases under this moniker and as A Made Up sound, the latter generally attached to genre-defying dance singles that always stood out from the crowd. A Made Up Sound’s last release was the remarkably unique Take The Plunge, which paired glitchy synth loops with a loping Techno skeleton to stellar effect. His last outing as 2562, however, was the entirely sampled-based Fever, in which he cut up snippets of old Disco records and dextrously repurposed them into something more colourful but still clearly Huismans’ own. This latest release, Air Jordan, is similarly made up from samples, but that’s where the similarities end. Every sample on this EP was field recorded by 2562 on a recent trip to Jordan, and the end result is a more spacious, dark, and altogether intriguing release than its predecessors.

Solitary Sheepbell

Why is it necessary to have quite so much backstory on a producer in a review for a 4-track EP? To explain Huismans’ galloping rate of innovation in Electronic music is also to understand a little better how experimentalism works in the dance world. When one thinks of Techno experimentalists, names like Demdike Stare and Sandwell District come to mind, who took to more abstract compositional structures, beatless expanses, unusual noises and rips of static. Air Jordan charts a cultural experimentation just as much as a sonic one; as the listener realises that these otherworldly sounds and samples are actually from this world, just not a part of it they’re necessarily familiar with. 2562 draws a real sense of menace and isolation out of these samples, while spoken-word, animal and instrumental samples lend the sound an unmistakably Middle-Eastern flavour. It could almost be compared to Onra’s Chinoiseries LP in the sense of a willingness to look out to the world beyond to broaden musical horizons, rather than just delving deeper into the hardware. I’d argue that a cross-cultural experiment is not only more accessible, but also truer to the idea of what experimentalism is.

Jerash Hekwerken

As could be expected from a producer of 2562’s calibre, this is no mere shuffling of field samples. On each of the four tracks on offer here, a familiar element of his sound is re-examined through different base components and textures, resulting in an immersive and original set which still feel like 2562. Although first track Solitary Sheepbell is beatless, it’s not an inconsequential ambient opener. The track is a collage of finely applied textures, conjuring vivid imagery of the stark isolation of some of the country’s locales with bell sounds chiming at a range of pitches over a fizzing bed of ambient mist and effects that sound a little like insects manoeuvring in the distance.

Second cut Desert Lament is an assault of dusty percussive layers built into a thrilling whiplash drum pattern. There’s a real richness to the samples that shines on a strong soundsystem, with a killer sub-bass setting off forest sounds and extending the shadowy atmosphere. On the next track, Jerash Hekwerken, Huismans twins a deadly rolling drum loop with tight vocal work, crafting what is arguably the EP’s standout track. As with the best Electronic tunes, the devil is in the details, and the reverb that offsets the beats or the masterful vocal manipulation around the two-minute mark have to be heard to be fully appreciated. Although the tracks don’t strike the listener immediately as club tunes, I’d imagine the rattling bass and complex drum patterns could go down a storm on the dancefloor, especially in a darker Techno mix.

Nocturnal Drummers

The extended final track, Nocturnal Drummers, sends the EP off in style, relying on a meticulous drum loop that snakes hypnotically past a broad range of nuanced samples and textures across its 8-minute runtime. It also proves as a fitting summary of 2562’s success in bridging cultures through the prism of his own personal experience, and in doing so crafting a set of four masterful tracks that are interesting, evocative, and deeply inviting.


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