Boomkat Product Review:
Okzharp bashes together gqom, techstep, trap and footwork on his latest Hyperdub transmission. Smart and spiked, one for fans of Scratchclart, Galtier, TSVI et al.
If British dance music's all about fusion, who better to hybridize gqom and dnb than Okzharp, a producer who was born in South Africa but has spent the last few years stationed in South London. Last time we came across him, the ex-L.V. beatmaker was collaborating with Durban legend DJ Lag, and this time he's flexing the tempo - working out how usually downbeat gqom sounds might work closer to 160bpm. The music came from a gqom-influenced short film soundtrack that didn't quite feel right until Okzharp ratcheted the tempo up - so different elements ended up falling into place as a new sound began to crystalize.
The effect is most evident on 'Fall In Up In The CLK', that flits mischievously from taut grime pings to gqom chants and blunted subs to synths that sound closer to 2011 Atlanta, until it hits womping low-end and familiar reggae steel pans. 'Tom Tom Ride Out' more forcefully betrays Okzharp's techstep fetish, but it's still a subtle addition - the music is sonically rooted in the gqom palette but distorted and swung in ways that push it into another dimension. 'Cut It Out' is even more tight, transposing that same familiar Durban throb into Chicago footwork, with Jlin-inspired percussion trills and unmistakable rolling kicks.