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What’s next? Peer into the future and what do you see (apart from lunch/dinner)?

I see this.

Extraordinarily loose hip-hop to mid-tempo rhythms with morphing synths and samples, squeezed to the extreme and underpinned with organic bumping bass antics. It strikes me as an attempt to move as far away from the regimented, heavily sequenced and quantised nature of the majority of dance music while retaining and increasing the groove. Rather than favouring the abrasive sonic extremes of much experimental electronic music, these rhythmical and textural extremes – when tempered with a few more familiar elements – have an irresistible life to them.



Back to Glasgow (again) and to self-appointed Aquacrunk originator Rustie. It’s about as perfect a one-word description as you could hope for. Influenced heavily by the US deep south hip-hop Crunk sound and its stark but super heavy 808 drum machine rhythms, this time chopped, sliced, pro/compressed to fuck with morphing, wobbling synths sliding around on top. At times it does lose its focus and slide toward an arrhythmical mess, but that’s just the by-product of someone really pushing the boundaries and who knows – maybe in a few years we’ll realise those tracks were just ahead of their time. When he gets the mix right however and it all gels, it sounds like future music now.

Probably his best to date, on Wireblock;

Off the forthcoming Bad Science EP;

On Stuff Records;

(Also, watch out for Beatnicks vol. 1 and Beatnicks vol. 2 on Up My Alley Records for new Rustie – ‘Dog Mask’ on vol. 2  is KILLER. Check Beatport for digital)

Wireblock have also been co-running a club night called Numbers since 2003 in – you guessed it – Glasgow, the home of Rustie and UK spiritual home of the Aquacrunk sound. If you’re around East London in two weeks (March 5th), head down Plastic People for Numbers@Plastic People with fellow Glaswegian Hudson Mohawke.

Rustie Mix for Mary Anne Hobbes (Right click to download)


Rustie – ‘Dog Mask’ (Dubplate)
Rustie – ‘Keesha Resmak’ (Dubplate)
Hudson Mohawke – ‘Still On It’ (Wireblock)
Mike Slott – ‘Gardening’ (Dubplate)
Rustie – ‘Early Learning’ (Dubplate)
Olivier Daysoul – ‘Space Ship’ (Dubplate)
Alex Cortex – ‘Reminisce’ (Wireblock)
Music At Nite – ‘City to City’ (Wireblock)
Ghosts On Tape – ‘Port Moresby’ (Dubplate)
Dj Tamiel – ‘Body’ (Dubplate)
Pivot – ‘In The Blood’ (Rustie Remix) (Dubplate)
Rich Boy – ‘Chevy A Monsta’ (Dubplate)
Rustie – ‘Bad Science’ (Wireblock)
Starkey – ‘Blow Ya Mind Remix’ (Dubplate)
Joker – ‘Solid State’ (Dubplate)
Rustie – ‘Dragonfly’ (Dubplate)

Back in London, Acton beatsmith Bullion is ploughing a similarly crooked furrow with a slightly different approach. Instrumental hip-hop relying almost purely on the classic Funk/Soul sample library which has educated and fed the last 20 years of dance music – on paper pretty conventional but filtered through a wonky aesthetic . The drums stutter and break but still flow, the samples fade in then shatter into hyper processed shapes and melodies. It’s a similar sound to California’s Flying Lotus whose LP last year on the enduring Warp Records won huge critical acclaim and arguably introduced the overground to the wonk.

Bullion and Lotus’ sound owes a lot to the trip-hop of the 90s and if these records appeared 10/15 years ago they’d probably have come out on the defunct Mo’ Wax or Ninja Tune (Ninja back then would of but tellingly, not today). That just shows shared influences however and Bullion’s louche jams or Lotus’ spidery sample webs have a defined voice of their own.

Buy Rustie

Buy Bullion


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  1. […] mentioned the charms of Acton beat-polisher Bullion in an earlier post. I won’t go into his sound again, suffice it to say that his few releases thus far have had a […]

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