Slugabed has always displayed a precocious talent for imbuing his particular brand of bit-crunched, bass-heavy digital funk with a corporeal, tactile quality. However, while other purveyors of seasick maximalism such as Rustie have found broad audiences, 22 year-old Greg Feldwick has remained on the periphery. Whether or not that's set to change with his forthcoming Ninja Tune debut remains to be seen, but the lead single suggests it's possible.
While his previous releases on Ramp and Planet Mu were discordant, vertiginous explorations into instrumental hip-hop, Sex feels somewhat smoother, as if the jagged edges have been childproofed, the friction smoothed over with a generous smudge of lubricant. It works because it allows Slugabed's inherent silliness to breathe: the bare kick-snare percussion gives solid foundation to spongey, lukewarm pads while prickly, Mastersystem synths thrust out their pointillist refrains and greasy G funk keys craft an insinuatingly grubby, pitch-bent bassline. There's little development once the elements are all in place, with Slugabed opting to allow the slickness of the timbres—more slimy than sensual—and the charm of the 8-bit grain to maintain interest over the four minutes.
"Molecules" is a more disjointed affair; a hysterical, space opera synth solo reminiscent of, say, Hudson Mohawke at his most proggy, is the startling, pompous opening to an essentially angular and difficult track. Trap snares and boss level synth trills are pitched back and forth on square wave bass. It's parting shot—a spoken "boom!" that disintegrates into reverb—is a heady exclamation point to the preceding, low-level strangeness. The first of the two remixes is courtesy of Daedelus, who tweaks "Sex" into something slo-mo and feverish, the primary colours of the original bleeding into each other—interesting but ultimately forgettable. Groundislava fares better. By clearing space in the track, he allows a weaving, glassy synth refrain to come to the fore, morphing the original's playfulness into something curiously nuanced and emotive.
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Tracklist: Slugabed - Sex A1 Sex
A2 Sex (Daedelus Remix)
B2 Sex (Groundislava Remix)
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