Scratcha DVA's Pretty Ugly, released earlier this year, saw the producer nurture his pop side, crafting an album of wonked digital soul: beautiful at points but too often flawed. The fact is, as fine as Scratcha's weird pop hybrids can be, it's in his more stripped-back efforts that the real shock value tends to lie—the stumbling, gurning "Natty" over its Fatima-featuring pop reincarnation "Just Vybe," for example. The Fly Juice EP sees the producer return to more unambiguously dance floor fare, and the results—four brash house hybrids that look well beyond UK Funky for inspiration—are a pleasure to behold.
The title track is breezy at the opening, chopped up Rhodes samples vying for attention with bursts of nasal synth. Before long, though, we sidestep into weirdly upfront territory, with a discordant, hyped-to-the-nines breakdown presaging a great throbbing wall of subbass peppered with stuttering edits. It's typical Scratcha: a gleefully jarring contrast between sweet and screwface-sour which shouldn't work but undoubtedly does. "Do It," meanwhile, is a stormer from the get-go, its pummeling snares and ravey pads barely settling into a routine over its three-and-a-half minute length.
"Walk It Out" trades in the mix of crisp house percussion and quietly dissonant background atmospherics that recurs throughout this EP; its initial furtiveness, though, gives way to a prim yet meaty thud over which rat-ta-tat snare syncopations do their thing. Finally, UK Funky is referenced more overtly in "Long Street," its infectious kick-clap shuffle playing host to a louche, woozy melody in the breakdown. The digipack additions don't add much to proceedings—"Shook" feels strangely devoid of energy; Inga Copeland's tremulous vocal sits uneasily over the explosive "Rumours"; French Fries supplies a neat but unremarkable 2-step reworking of "Ganja"—but they don't need to. Fly Juice is a storming four-tracker, transfiguring the concerns of the current underground as only DVA can.