Label: Burek RecordsRelease: 30/1/2014
Contrary to the mistakenly held opinion within certain segments of the electronic music and Hip-Hop community that the two genres are too different to work together in harmony the two scenes in fact make for extraordinarily compatible bed-fellows as evidenced by the latest release from Inskwel on Zagreb based imprint Burek.
Having first discovered Burek via Bulgarian wizard KiNK several years ago whilst scouring Soundcloud for new music and being mightily impressed with both the scope and quality of their output the label has gone on to forge a fierce reputation for delivering high quality underground music from both the Balkans and beyond in recent years. Now following on from his successful tour of Europe this autumn, low riding Australian beatsmith Inkswel arrives on the eighth 12” from the Croatian outfit.
Featuring 4 fresh new cuts from Inskwel backed by 3 remixes this is a weighty package that will no doubt find fans across the electronic spectrum with its opening three numbers showcasing Inkwels mastery of slowed down slices of funk. The A-side sees the Aussie producer hook up with three different collaborators with San Fran’s Dave Aju, Melbourne’s Cazeaux O.S.L.O, Christchurch’s Isaac Aesili and Adelaide’s Charli James all jumping on ‘No More Suckas’, ‘Mind Yours’ and ‘Saturated’ respectively. Each artist brings something different to their track with a constant theme of a love of retrofitted Hip Hop serving as universal motif which binds this EP together. Dave Aju delivers golden era inspired bars about “being given the chance for a night of intimate relations” over open kicks and sax line that serves to punctuate the rhythm before Inswel ramps up the bass with the more driven and slam poetry laced number suggesting something far more profound may be on offer than a simple night of passion as expressed in the opening gambit. It is ‘Saturated’ however that serves our highlight with its classic grooves and smoothly delivered vocal, underpinned by wonky chords and 808 cowbells.
Flipping to the B-side, the Zagreb imprint really has excelled itself in securing a heavyweight team of remixes with NYC’s DJ Nature stepping up to rework ‘No More Suckas’ in which he downplays the vocals as the focus and instead crafts a jazz infused number adding a firmer drum pattern which is then lightened by the slick introduction of a subtle flute melody to give it the classic big apple loft vibe.
At the other end of the spectrum then enters Berlin’s Iron Curtis to bring a more drum focused incarnation of ‘Mind Yours’ with metallic notes drifting over the naturally hypnotic dreamscape of the original, off kilter kicks off setting haunting bells and floating chords as the listener slowly immerses themselves into the track and wonders where the last few minutes have actually gone. The package is then rounded off by London breakbeat producer IG Culture who utilizes the same spoken word parts as his German predecessor but lays down a greatly contrasting reimagining of ‘Mind Yours’ with jukey snares and big room bass transforming the track into a piece that wouldn’t be out of place in the most cutting edge of footwork sets.
Whilst forward facing, this release clearly harks back to the formative years of both hip hop and house helping to join the dots between those two forms of music whilst taking it to future forms. Awesome stuff.