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  • Filed under: Review
  • 03/27/2013

South London Ordnance "Revolver" b/w "Transmission Funk"

South London Ordnance is a bombastic name. Yet the the latest 12" from the producer is distinctly airy, as it features a gusty, lung-pumping sound that's light, even when compared with the upward-bound bass/house productions that round out Scuba's Hotflush label. The anonymous producer's personality, as filtered through the media, points to a young artist obsessed with quality control masquerading as an inveterate self-deprecator. Furthermore, he seems to appreciate that uncertainty paired with productivity is rarely a bad thing in the long view. While Scuba's own divisive stylistic tangents come packed in a bristly attitude, one can sense a deeper, peculiarly English kinship between the two—they're united in their doubts, spoken or not—that makes "Revolver" b/w "Transmission Funk" a satisfyingly consistent entry in the label's catalog.

The succinct but spacious "Revolver" rolls in first like a pastel-tinted fog bank. A switching beat plugs emaciated sounds into a nervy, skipping framework that's neither house nor garage, but their by-now familiar offspring. Despite the hammer-strikes-anvil punctuation that eventually joins the fray, the song leads with its softest parts; a sideways marimba pattern coils inside a smoky synth pad having audible hunger pangs, and the whole thing billows and clanks along amiably. The balance between contemplative vibes and DJ value also drives the more chewily syncopated "Transmission Funk," but the effect is slightly dulled by its length and a dry-ice synth riff that's a little too piercing to hold for long. It worms around and breathes and gathers steam, but makes a more diffuse impression overall.

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