It’s not a backhanded compliment to say that Glenn Astro’s latest 12” for WotNot is a decidedly palatable thing. It’s a case of melody over impact. His use of light and shade, the roundness of his chords and the way he downplays most of his percussion are a delight, and as the EP develops it seems to want to dive further into a well of complexity as Astro’s melodic arrangements ramp themselves up a gear.
Much like Bloom did on his hyper-mechanised 'Hydraulics EP', Damu seems to have been spending a lot of his time meticulously carving out a niche for his slew of newly toughened, reinforced club cuts. Having tripped up a lot of people’s expectations with his debut album, this new bout of tunes switches the tide once again — a clutch of heavily processed, finely chiselled, minimal elements that shine, especially on the title track and ‘Whirlybird’.
This track could irradiate any trace of luminosity from anywhere that its sound reaches. Steeped in shadowy techno influence, this could quite possibly be the most sinister track you hear this year — however it has an unnaturally and unexpected calming effect. The beat pounds relentlessly, steadily continuing while futurist, alien machinery labours away in an undeterred, repeated fashion until the second drop, where the intensity is raised to a brooding pressure which is almost too much to handle.
In something of a curveball, former stadium dubstep superstar Skream hooks up with Damian Lazarus's Crosstown Rebels for this big room houser. Suffice to say it's very large indeed.