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  • Filed under: Review
  • 08/22/2013

South London Ordnance He Do the Police in Different Voices

  • Words: Steve Kerr
  • Label: Aery Metals
  • XLR8R Rating: 6.5/10

Skeptical listeners should be forgiven for pigeonholing South London Ordnance as a UK bass guy. Granted, he is a UK bass guy, but He Do the Police in Different Voices, his latest mini-LP, finds him leaning toward some of his country's luminary leftfield artists for remix support: Chris Carter, Optimo's JD Twitch, and a newer face in Factory Floor's Nik Colk Void, whose fawned-over band seems predestined to join their ranks. Moreover, the producer brings in help from acts closer to his own genre in the form of Brolin and Femme En Fourrure. Overall, the tracks vary in success, but there is enough variety present to appease practically any contemporary DJ.

On "Black Acre," with Brolin, South London Ordnance displays his typically pristine sound design, and the rhythm hits straight and rigid. Brolin's wispy vocal is somewhat swamped by its power, but its dubby undercurrent and four-note pizzicato melody go a long way in furthering its sense of drama anyway. Chris Carter's remix accentuates the track's dub aspects, doing away with the vocal and arranging its remaining parts into a murky stepper. What it loses in strict form, it makes up for in its sense of dread. "Modular Splash" doesn't appear here in its original form, but it's subject to two remix treatments. Nik Colk Void's take is almost aggressively minimal; structurally little more than an arpeggio, it's cut with jarring blasts of interference and eventually ends up developing something resembling a kick drum. JD Twitch's remix, meanwhile, initially focuses on a malleable bassline; its halted rhythm and stuttering vocal blur together and take the track in a more confusing direction entirely. It's not exactly aimless, but one can get lost pretty easily. "Floating World" is the best of the originals here. Its elements aren't particularly unique, but its momentum is smartly deployed, pushing forward even as the mix is intercut with coarse distractions; its thundering, precision-tooled churn reminds of a more rigid Szare. "System" doesn't fare so well, as its clanking parts, splintery arpeggio, and vocal moans don't have quite the same exuberance. "Obsidian," composed with Femme En Fourrure, seems like it might be an atmospheric piece at first, with its smothered pads recalling any number of ambient house productions. It soon moves into bigger rooms, though, with a squeaky main melody bouncing atop a rigid, metallic framework. The EP's eclectic remixers may endear him to a new set of fans, but South London Ordnance has yet to show much of their influence in his own music.

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