Boomkat Product Review:
Keysound get reel with a superb mix by Parris, the pivotal, London-based producer highly regarded for his pursuits in the zone between rolling bass music, experimental techno and weightless grime styles.
Prefaced by glowing sleeve notes from Martin Clark in the J-card, TX280916 / TX111116 unfurls a expertly paced and mercurial narrative that speaks to Parris’ position as a DJ’s DJ, as Blackdown puts it: “the kind of DJ who comes to your house party and quietly mixes your records better and for longer than you, even though he has never even heard the tunes before. That guy.” However, whilst it’s one thing to beguile folk in various stages of inebriation at a party, it’s another to really prove it on a mixtape. So suffice it to say that we’re stone cold sober right now and this example is highly impressive.
Traversing various depressurisation chambers of vaporised, weightless R&B memes, free-floating ambient structures and wistful neo-noir synth tones at the front, the mix pensively gathers momentum without the immediate need of a dancefloor, stealthily knitting and dissolving the teeth of his cogged grooves into a low key churn prone to evaporate and remerge at another sluggish pattern with masterful groove control and discipline, subtly hingeing on a flux of dub, Afro-tribal drums and tangy electronics that feels like skanking in the run-off from a thousand London clubs collected over the last two decades.
It takes until two thirds of the way thru the first side for it to really lock into an upward groove - and no, we couldn’t name a single track apart from a few flashes of his own productions - keeping the momentum elevated and expanded thru mutant grime melodies, persistent daubs of subbass and tendrils of dub FX that step over each other toward a point between the eyes and over the horizon.
But even when it picks up energy, the groove control is immaculate, never testing but purely seductive, rolling and deep dwelling with a classic, in-the-pocket London style that resonates with early Mixmaster Morris or The Orb-style ambient mixes as much as Horsepower Productions and indeed, Keysound’s own radio shows.