In some ways Bandshell is a quintessential Hessle Audio producer: a withdrawn online presence, based pretty far from any halfway respectable dance floors, seemingly uninterested in the stultifying grind of the hype machine (i.e. Elgato, Joe and, to a certain extent, Objekt.) But in other ways he has served to expand Hessle's identity more than any other recent signing to the label, making explicit the vital influence of non-dance floor electronic music on the tastes and selections of the label's founders (particularly Ben UFO) over the past couple of years.
The Hardwax shop has described these tracks as DJ tools but in reality they're more like puzzles: arcane several-sided constructions, all gears and moving parts, curiously impenetrable but massively addictive. They may be filthy, doused in some muck of the producer's own invention, but crucially they're also a sonic delight: Bandshell's sound is somehow greyscale and shimmery.
"Rise 'Em" has the most immediate appeal, with its skipping syncopations. Still, it progresses through incremental shifts rather than any clearer on/off dynamic—it doesn't drop so much as approach you purposefully, steadily, in plain sight. The low-end propulsion of "Dust March" is shackled to a stepper's rhythm—though precisely what step that is should be left to those still on the dance floor at 6 AM. "Dog Sweater" is the most relentlessly sinister, while "Metzger"'s synth pads are barely-there, cloaked in parched hi-hats and squeezed between hefty globs of bass. The oozing digi-xylo notes halfway through might have been lifted from Elgato's "Music (Body Mix)," caked in dirt and thrown back into the fray. Or not. Where Hessle's concerned, you never quite know.
Buy Bandshell - Dust March at
Tracklist: Bandshell - Dust March A1 Dust March
A2 Rise Em
B2 Dog Sweater