Roly Porter is perhaps best known for helping to spearhead the maturation of dubstep alongside Jamie Teasdale (a.k.a. Kuedo) as Vex’d. Third Law, his third long-player and his Tri Angle debut, sees him revisit his dubstep and jungle roots. On previous releases, his solo project has had a sense of contention with his previous genre excursions and club impulses. Falling into the same mechanic quarters as Mumdance and Logos’ “weightless” themes, Third Law works within the textures and parameters of dance genres—but acquiesces the plotting of narrative-intensive percussion.
The results of this experiment are somewhere between Ben Frost’s ambient breakcore on Aurora and the laconic decompository slices of Leyland Kirby’s V/vm rave experiments. Each track is cinematic in scope though contorted around rave tropes. “Mass” is an eerie track of succinct and lurching black metal and sound-design–oriented production that evolves into knackered, droning techno. The track embodies a collision of worlds, as it mixes ideas of free jazz, drone, time-stretching, and Mark Fell-like employments of clipped kicks and pads.
Porter’s music reaches beyond the idea of club music as being danceable—instead, he reaches for the sound-system. “In Flight” maxes out Third Law’s chimeric aesthetic, pitting galloping kick drums against droning brass sounds. Stuttering synths skim along the surface of the composition as a gauze of white noise develops and decays. There are heavily affective sensibilities at work with Third Law, largely due to Porter’s dissection of his surroundings and the general make up of his left-behind genres.
Rhythm is rhythm—and Porter’s compositions acknowledges this, with fascinating and complex pulses. Tri Angle has always been known for supporting artists who collapse in worlds, and Porter slides in well between artists like Haxan Cloak and new signee Brood Ma. Third Law seems to work in a defiant way that looks to inspire a new crop of producers more interested in the space of the club than the memory of it.