Boomkat Product Review:
Hessle Audio are surely the UK's finest forward-thinking dance label. Their ascent to the bassbin vanguard is cemented with '116 and Rising', the label's 1st compilation featuring exclusive tracks by Peverelist, Elgato, Blawan, D1, James Blake, Addison Groove, Pangaea, Joe, Pearson Sound and more. Since 2007 their tightly knit roster have produced a stream of achingly ON IT records, including no small amount of debuts and genre classics from figures who've come to massively influence the field. We can largely attribute their success to the seriously focussed yet broad tastes of the trio behind the imprint, namely David Kennedy (Pearson Sound/Ramadanman), Ben Thomson (Ben UFO) and Kevin McAuley (Pangaea); three clued-up youths with an unswerving passion for dance music from US House and Garage to the UK Bass culture they all came through with. '116 and Rising' is a sterling testament to their innate understanding of the scene, touching on up-to-the-moment 116bpm subbass and Latin clap attacks from Joe at one extreme, and the deadly, archival post-grime futurism of D1's 'Sub Zero' at the other, all linked with a coiled thread of 'ardcore dynamics borne from Jungle, D&B, Garage and Grime precedents. For us, the most exciting tracks inside come from two of their most recent additions, with the nagging, sensual hook of Elgato's 'Music (Body Mix)' and the ruff 'n tumble programming of Blawan's 'Potchla Vee' already glued to our decks, but the very best come from relatively old hands; in the inimitable torque of Peverelist's infinitely sumptuous 'Sun Dance', and Pangaea's deeply rave-spiked 'Runout', while there's close runners from Pearson Sound's agitated 'Stifle' and the whisky-faced tuning of James Blake's 'Give A Man A Rod (2nd Version)'. Ultimately, it's a definitive document of the UK underground at the start of this decade and therefore a hugely recommended purchase for dancers, DJs and dance music connoisseurs alike.