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  • Filed under: Review
  • 10/05/2011

Blawan "What You Do With What You Have" b/w "Vibe Decorum"

At this point, it's beyond cliché to talk about the merger of dubstep, garage, house, and techno, as we've moved past the point of collision into entirely new hybrid territory. For instance, take "What You Do With What You Have" b/w "Vibe Decorum," the latest release by Jamie Roberts (a.k.a. Blawan). Standing in stark contrast to the material he made even a year ago, Roberts has dropped a veritable manifesto for the new sound of UK dance music in 2011.

The single starts with the storming "What You Do With What You Have." Punching up the resonance, Blawan takes the acid experimentation of the Bohla EP to its natural conclusion. Far from being a simple acid cut, the a-side flirts with an abrasive sound palette that sits somewhere between industrial and hard techno. A solid track instrumentally, Blawan takes things to another level entirely by sampling Moodyman's now-legendary talk at the Red Bull Music Academy. Moodymann pops in and out of the mix, repeating, "Let me tell you something. It ain't what you got. It's what you do with what you have. Ya Understand? And it ain't what you do. It's how you do." It's a huge-sounding peak-time track destined to work larger dancefloors for some time.

On the b-side, "Vibe Decorum" takes a similar tack and achieves a similar level of success. Playing up the hard sound, the track starts with an alien vocal sample layered over a hard four-on-the-floor. The meat of the rhythm is led by a sample that sounds something like a combination between a man yelling and a squeaky hinge, yet the resulting track feels more utilitarian and DJ friendly than its counterpart on the flip side. A tough, acidified rhythm track, it could also easily be layered under less-bottom-heavy cuts for added muscle.

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