"...Gritty beats, sick basslines, loads of distortions, noisy moments; not too fast nor too slow, i.e. it's not breakcore nor dubstep, but it has both raw power and a high head-nod factor..."
Reviewed by luca maini (igloomag.com)
Absolutely the most anticipated album of the year for me. Since the release of 1 Up I've been waiting for more, and even if it's only a mere 40-minute album, in Extend there's pretty much everything I love in electronic music. Gritty beats, sick basslines, loads of distortions, noisy moments; not too fast nor too slow, i.e. it's not breakcore nor dubstep, but it has both raw power and a high head-nod factor. It's like an updated version of Speedy J's A Shocking Hobby.
"Mr. Bad News" is that song I fell in love with hearing Mary Anne Hobbs' Breezeblock, the glacial stomper with the screaming siren that calls immediately a rewind. "Dead Man Walking" is an absolute anthem, combining devastating rhythms, a bassline out of this world and the molten lyrics of Virus Syndicate: after this tune every other grime track sounds 10 years old. "Caramel Cognac" suffers a bit of Enduser syndrome, the vocal samples are recycled for the third time, but again it's impossible not to surrender to such a perfect beat. "Peggy Flynn III" is another digitally disturbed grimey excursion, "Mr. Ion" is a buzzing tune built on fractured jungle loops, while "Barry" is probably as menacing as the cover, with its spooky setting, loads of thunderous drums and the fearsome "I did not murder him!" sample. Speaking of the artwork, it's the color of television tuned to a dead channel (easy quote). Finally, "Sight Beyond Sight" reprises the de-phasing rhythms found in "Iacon" (1 Up), a true Milanese trademark, disorienting and fascinating. "Boss Eye" and "One Eye" are two brief noisy episodes, the first is explosive while the latter features hellish drones that remind me of the fierce output of Kevin Drumm. "Tony Sombrero" closes with some sparse piano chords, and not with a mariachi guitar in case you were asking.
I like every single second of this record, if my review sounds too enthusiastic it's because Extend fits my tastes perfectly, and I'm sorry but I really can't help it. It'll be a hard task to choose between this and Burial.
- Eskmo - Let Them Sing
- Ikonika - Smuck
- Geiom & Shortstuff - No Hand Signals
- Starkey - OK Luv
- Raffertie - 7th Dimension
- Ceephax Acid Crew - United Acid Emirates
- Kuedo - Dream Sequence E.P.
- Starkey - Ephemeral Exhibits
- Neil Landstrumm - Lord For £39
- Distance - Repercussions
- Last Step - 1961
- Mrs Jynx - The Standoffish Cat
- Venetian Snares - My Downfall (Original Soundtrack)
- Meat Beat Manifesto - Autoimmune
- iTAL tEK - Cyclical
- Mary Anne Hobbs - Evangeline
- Venetian Snares - Miss Balaton
- Various Production & Virus Syndicate - Apollo/Neva Argue
- Sunken Foal - Fermented Condiments
- Sunken Foal - Fallen Arches
- Venetian Snares - Detrimentalist
- The Gasman - Superlife
- Eero Johannes - Eero Johannes
- Virus Syndicate - Sick Pay