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  • Filed under: Review
  • 12/09/2013

Batu "Spooked" b/w "Clarity (Dismantled)"

Thus far, Livity Sound has only released records by Kowton, Peverelist, and Asusu, its three founding members. Given that, perhaps the backwards spelling of the label name on its latest 12" heralds an imprint that's open to offerings from their associates. At the very least, Batu's "Spooked" b/w "Clarity (Dismantled)" reveals a producer on a very similar tack as Livity Sound's core trio. One could easily slot these tracks in with any of those producers' material, or with Pinch, whose Cold Recordings released Batu's debut back in August.

This is to say that there isn't a whole lot to grab onto here other than the rhythms. Both tracks are pretty aggressive for being only 120 bpm, and offer a sort of slanted, sub-driven take on techno. Batu intersperses them with grayscale industrial ambience, but for the most part, both tracks are about showcasing the producer's skill at shifting his drums. The bumpy "Spooked" heaves forward, its sides groaning from the intensity of rattling, coldly reverberating percussion. Everything feels coated in iron, from the punchy, echoing rimshots to the flanged snares. "Clarity (Dismantled)" is similar in palette, but it uses a spritely clave pattern to push things along, its drum patterns underpinned by soft, gloopy bass. Both tracks are thoroughly kinetic, and the music's rough character should be suitable for a variety of sets. One wonders what a bit of warmth would do for Batu's sound, however, even if was just the slightest pad being added to the mix.

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