Boomkat Product Review:
The hardest lad in Hessle Audio’s alt. boy band trio with BUFO and Pearson Sound, Pangaea weighs in seven tracks of tuff garage-techno, hard groove and breakbeat-to-happy hardcore rave on a precision-tooled 2nd album
‘Changing Channels’ marks 16 years in the game for Kevin McAuley’s Pangaea since his roots in Leeds clubs spawned a global reputation and festival-hopping DJ schedule. Not one to be accused of over-production, Pangaea records have come at a regular, considered pace that matches his subtle refinements of classic, robust club templates, tweaking the envelopes of ‘90s garage, techno, house, and ‘00s breakstep with efficient adjustments that never go too wild, and always keep an eye on the ball. That said, he does push put into previously unexplored terrain here, balancing the effortless, hybrid UKG/techno physics with wicked runs into ruder hardcore club turbulence.
On a signature swingers’ swivel, he comes off like Kevin Saunderson meets DJ Q with added, salty synthesis in the sizzling pressure of ‘Installation’, and locks it back to a deep and mean speed garage thrust in ‘Hole Away’, whereas ‘The Slip’ trades in a hardgroove slink that he teases out with nimble dub chords on the title tune. However, if playing faves, the squelchier triplet wobble of ‘Squid’ is up there, and we’re most partial to the restless, Grain-meets-early-Joy O-esque gnash and wriggle to ‘If’, and absolutely no doubt his ode to happy hardcore in the high velocity, 3rd degree gurns of ‘Bad Lines’.