Styles Upon Styles' Bangers & Ash series asks artists to create EPs with two distinct parts: "Heady experiments" on one side, and straight-up dance tracks on the other. This is how we're introduced to young Brooklyn producer Clay Wilson, who balances abstract promise with a struggle for functionality on his debut release.
Things start out well with the experimental-leaning side. "Tab" and "Reset" ease into a magnetic storm of analogue machines, synth malfunctions underlaid by a slow heartbeat—not unlike something that might come from PAN. "Pfizing" is based on percolating hand percussion and wandering scrap metal. "Wythe" finishes up the side with some Ostgut-style droning techno, replete with what sounds like a car's turning signal. Where the first three tracks come off unpredictable and edgy, "Wythe" is clearly following a formula—an issue exacerbated on the "clubbier" flipside. "End Gap" and "Toe the Line" both suspend bilious leads in a cloud of reverb, but it sounds like he's using the all-too-common device to obscure rather than to expand. The result is run-of-the-mill techno murk with none of the A-side's derelict flair.
Tracklist: Clay Wilson - BASH002A1 Tab
B1 End Gap
B2 Toe The Line