The vivid, rain-speckled purple raleigh car that adorns ‘Butter’, a recent offering on London-based label Seagrave, makes a fitting emblem for the high-octane, rubber-burning sounds housed within.
Packed with energy and intensity, the record is composed by longterm collaborators Paul Bowyer and Ben Hudson aka Brain Rays and Quiet. The pair have spent the majority of their partnership working on comatose hip-hop with a variety collaborators as Baconhead.
‘Butter’ however marks a fairly large departure from this. While there are nods to their earlier productions here and there, the album is concerned much more closely with rave and club scenes – ‘95 hardcore tape chewed through distorted breaks, reminiscent of the Wrong Music or early Planet Mu scenes.
Other tracks take their cues from footwork, such as the adrenalin pumped ‘Emeralds’ or brain-churning ‘Creeps’. Then there is ‘Helsinki’ – an Autechre reminiscent digital maelstrom, which wouldn’t sound out of place soundtracking David Cronenberg’s ’Scanners’.
The album shines brightest however in its use of classic breaks. Opening track ’Artura Flip’ makes an incendiary launchpad for the LP, with a hectic splice and dice of the classic ‘Think’ break, interspersed with rollicking stabs and sub-atomic bassweight. ‘Crewcut Apex’ is another standout moment and one of the album’s most frenetic tracks. Snares jostle for space amid thumping blasts of low-end, screeching glitches and ruptured melodics.
‘Butter’ scarcely lets up until reflective closer ‘Delilah’ – the smoke washed afterglow of what has come before, recalling post-club sunrises and inebriated stumbles home. The album is a masterfully executed mission statement for the duo’s next chapter together and a welcome reminder of how inventive, technically rich and exciting club music can be.