Boomkat Product Review:
Radge halfstep bullets from Alan Johnson, surmising a decade of weighty pressure thru four cuts of limber soundsystem testers, tipped if yr into DMZ, Skull Disco, 2562.
Forged in the turbulent wake of ‘00s dubstep and grime, the Alan Johnson duo emerged in the early 2010s with a style of loose percussion wrapped up in exacting halfstep designs that pursued the pressures of DMZ, The Bug, Kode9 and others for a new decade. ‘Ten Year Tonnage’ reflects on a decade of heavy work in that paradigm with a heavy dubwise approach to carving air and making bodies lurch on their heel and toes, sifting rooted instrumental licks into technoid matrices built to sweep intense basement sessions and big scoops.
In its title tune we hear the ghosts of early ‘00s, pre-smoking ban ‘step diffused thru its Digital Mystikz or early Skull Disco-like flutes and seismic rumbles, whereas ’Shapeshifter’ hails the point when dubstep danced with Berlin techno in its staggered 2562-esque chords and Pinch-alike mettle. ‘Muay Size’ weighs in a defter form of club pugilism recalling Loefah’s Swamp 81 simmer, and ‘People of the World’ goes rogue on a wickedly cut-up flex articulating Caribbean and West African influences with a groggy appeal and three-legged restlessness .