Review: You can always rely on London's Blank Mind imprint to deliver the freshest, most gloriously noxious bass twists around. After a short hiatus, the label returns with four slithering licks of beats and low frequencies from South Africa's AudioBoyz, Durban's collaborative project consisting of Fatonic, Motion, Mudpunk and Njeh. Now, this particular strain of tribal dance music has been coined 'Gqom', and it's the perfect balance between urban and rural, modern and ancient. "Danger" and "Gibbon5", although different in their choices of sounds and aesthetic, are both made up of the same sort of ritualistic outlook that has been missing from the bass world for a while. On the flip, "Insomnia" slices its sharp percussion stabs over a thin layer of bass and an even more stripped-down sonic landscape, leaving "The Legendary" to deliver the most musical content on this EP, a dark and alluring wormhole of sonics. TIP!
Review: Blank Mind return with their first release since last year's all conquering Goron Sound platter from the Alan Johnson duo, and it's the turn of label founder Sam Purcell to show off his production skills once more as Dance. Lead track "Heyvalva, Heyvalva, Hey" is distinctively named and you are unlikely to forget the track once you hear it either, which plays out like a bizarro version of Demdike Stare's "Hashashin Chant". Whereas as that track was darkness personified, Dance's production is all about the lightness that surrounds the heavily chopped vocal that acts as a focal point as drums snap in and out of action. "Bottomless Pit" is however a much darker production, with loose half step 909 rhythms cascading in an erratic fashion almost in reaction to the sheer terror of the squalling synth tones and jagged junglist basslines. The sense of dystopian dread is only magnified by the foreboding titular vocal sample that repeats itself with a sense of desperation.
Review: As well as overseeing some hard to pin down material from Adrian Lenz and Sandman, Alan Johnson and DJ Clent, the Blank Mind label has also acted as a platform for founder Sam Purcell to develop his own productions. Having proved he is quite adept at production on a solo flex as Dance, Purcell is involved in the latest Blank Mind release as Mirror, a new collaborative endeavour with Eugene Hector. Otherwise known as Dro Carey and Tuff Sherm, Hector's work as Mirror with Purcell seems perfectly suited to Blank Mind with a quartet of "Trials" that marry the rhythmic backbone of techno with some punishing sub bass manoeuvres. Watch out in particular for the vintage Skull Disco stylings of "Trialthree".