Anti-G – Presents Kentje’sz Beats (Planet Mu)
Reviewed by Oliver Laing Source: (Cyclic Defrost)
Planet Mu are all over the nascent subgenres swelling around the bass music diaspora, from the Juke styles of Chicagoâ€™s DJ Diamond, thru to this hyperkinetic effort from Kenrick Connor, coming thru on the Dutch Bubbling House tip. Presents Kentjeâ€™sz Beats is a thrilling ride that can suck you in; before you know it, youâ€™ll be crazy dancing like a robot hardwired to a steady diet of Reggaeton and Soca played in a style so frenetic that itâ€™s almost comical. Certain strands of dance music throughout history have come across as simultaneously stupid (or perhaps thatâ€™s stupid dope fresh) and mighty profound at the same time. Anti-G manages this feat, mixing the off-kilter Grime of Wiley and Terror Danjah, and the Caribbean rhythmic impulses of DVA, Funkystepz and a host of London-centric post-Dubstep producers.
There is also echoes of the immediate pre-Dubstep recent past (circa 2002-04, as UK Garage was being replaced by Grime) in the glowering riddims of â€˜Freak it Outâ€™ â€” it could be Digital Mystikzâ€™s â€˜Neverlandâ€™ transplanted to Trinidad. I can almost imaging hordes of hyped-up teenagers, emerging from a dark Delft nightclub ready to rumble, high on the fact that â€˜Bubbling Cause Troubleâ€™. The squeaky synths that inhabit the album are the bastard offspring of a squeaky balloon and a steel drum kit; itâ€™s a sound thatâ€™s either love-it-or-hate-it. The mid and top end are as important in Anti-Gâ€™s productions as the Bass, with the melody lines squeezed out up high, whilst the bass almost implies itself in the interstices between the melody. On â€˜THE FUCKING ERROR!!!â€ those squeaky chipmunked synths bore into your head with the insistency of a hungry child in the checkout queue at your local supermarket (and then he adds an air-horn for maximalist effect).
Iâ€™m sure Simon Reynolds would love the staggeringly fast ticking snares and steel drums pitched to a blur of â€˜Trille Tot Je doodyall!â€™, hyping the hardcore continuum up for the social media generation. Stretching the formula out from the brevity of the two-minutes or less slide show of the majority of the album, a number of tracks exhibit multiple ideas that are given room to breathe, rather than being juxtaposed frenetically and forced to comply to their creatorâ€™s skewed Fruity Loops logic. â€˜Instrumentals Reggeaton (sic)â€™ slows the pace, yet the synths still trill and peel with a bashment Soca vibe that manages to be both Gothic and medieval yet relentlessly cheery.
Whilst reviewing Presents Kentjeâ€™sz Beats, I needed to explore the Dutch phenomena of Bubbling House further. Born out of a late 80s Dutch DJ dropping a Dancehall 12â€ at the wrong speed, such wrong-footed vibes caused a stir amongst the immigrant communities from the Caribbean. Importing the freshest riddims from Jamaica, pitching them up and down to ridiculous lengths, the DJâ€™s happy mistake was eventually overtaken by the predominant Dirty Dutch House sound of the 90s, only to re-emerge with a new generation of black and Latin clubbers in the last decade. Sharing the hallmarks of the Bubbling sound with the sceneâ€™s modern technicians, the wrong-footed vibe of distorted technology and youthful exuberance pushes the dance in new and awkward directions. An acquired taste, Presents Kentjeâ€™sz Beats, took me quite some time to get my head around, but now itâ€™s there, Thingsâ€™ll Never Be The Same. The rightful place for these riddims is on a big system rather than tinny computer speakers or headphones, although Iâ€™m sure that the hard-wired youth of the Netherlands appreciate the frenetic sound of the Bubbling universe in either iteration.
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