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White Noise: A Made Up Sound – Ahead / Endgame

Friday, 8 February 2013

A Made Up Sound – Ahead / Endgame

Label: A Made Up Sound

A producer known as much for his ability to confound and perplex as for the top-notch quality of his tunes, Dave Huismans kicks off the new year with an astonishing return to form. Don’t get us wrong, the Dutch dubstep-cum-techno producer (a path many have travelled but few with such inspiring results) never lost it, but last years output, the whiplash desert rhythms of Air Jordan under his 2562 guise and a few stray singles, were comparatively straight-edged compared to previous work. At his best, Huismans’ expert sound manipulations had the power to not only innovate dance music but to actively interrogate it: Take The Plunge conjured a locked groove out of the whirring rhythms of malfunctioning technology, while Winamp Melodrama on the excellent Fever LP brought the artificiality of contemporary music production into the open, exposing the software lurking beneath in a move as sonically innovative as it was thought-provoking.

On Ahead, Huismans returns to Fever’s sample-heavy approach but takes it a step further, conjuring a stuttered beat pattern and then gutting it, splicing in jagged funk samples and splintered percussive accents. It’s hard to imagine whether this tune would set fire to a dancefloor or empty it out, but it’s sure to prompt an extreme reaction. Regardless of its dance capabilities, Ahead is a dazzling piece of production and a credit to Huismans’ abilities – one could argue that it takes a true artisan to make music this brilliantly broken. On the flipside we have the straighter but no less brilliant Endgame, where the same staccato dynamic is applied to a dangerous acid bassline, excellent sample work and an epileptic beat pattern. By the close the listener is rewarded by a couple of minutes of a straight-up techno banger, a memory of how great Huismans can be when he’s conventional, and a juxtaposition that serves as a stark reminder of how stunning the results are when he’s not.


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