Manchester up-and-comer xxxy takes a quick left turn for the second single to his name this year, and his first contribution to the quickly rising Orca imprint. Still very much entrenched in the UK garage/post-dubstep sound, xxxy's "Open Your Eyes" b/w "You Gotta Do You" mines retro-futuristic sounds for this pair of energetic tunes, but they lack a bit of the allure of his previous works.
From the onset, "Open Your Eyes" seems prepared to take us on another journey through familiar future-bass territory—but intros can be deceiving, as the track quickly turns into a bombastic take on classic garage. Characterized by aggressive kick drums, relentless percussion, and the sort of chopped drum breaks one couldn't escape from in the UK's not-so-distant past, the a-side brings to mind a few of the smoother passages found on ?-Ziq's Lunatic Harness while still being solidly rooted in the current UK bass sphere. The flipside, "You Gotta Do You," has a much more distinctly electro feel to it, matching a blistering drum-machine breakbeat with ominous, buzzing pads and just a touch of acid synths. The whole affair sounds like the evil twin to a classic Afrika Bambaataa beat—sped up, slightly distorted, and sinisterly danceable.
While xxxy's discography to date is undoubtedly impressive, it is still relatively limited, and although "Open Your Eyes" b/w "You Gotta Do You" is a welcome and well-executed stretch of his production scope, it doesn't quite satisfy the craving many of us have for more of the forward-thinking bass the burgeoning producer has proven himself capable of crafting.