For the uninitiated, "Pulse X" is essentially ground zero for grime. The first 8-bar UK garage instrumental, released back in 2002, would come to define one of London's most aggressive dance music genres. Today it still sounds raw and ready, if not a little worse for wear. New label Liminal Sounds has chosen the unusual task of updating it for 2013 on their first release, and they enlist some of UK bass music's best newcomers to tackle the unenviable task.
First up is Keysound's Visionist, who carefully pins canned string stabs and clipped vocal snippets to the track, the same kind that would come to define the genre's mid-'00s heyday. It's a barreling update that sacrifices only a little of the original's raw power. On the flipside, Scottish duo Blackwax inject breaks into the mix, taking "Pulse X" back in time and retrofitting it with jungle attributes. If you buy the digital, you get a few extras, including a slovenly low-end boost from Pedro 123 and clumsy overdubs from Elsewhere. More crucially, there's a turn from noted grime fan Slackk. His lengthy remix turns "Pulse X" into a raucous roller of hand-percussion and bass that spills over giddily. It feels the truest to the original's spirit. But as good (and as fun) as most of these remixes are, they all still pale in comparison to the original's sociopathic blank stare.
Buy Youngstar - Pulse X Remixes at
Tracklist: Youngstar - Pulse X Remixes A Pulse X (Visionist Remix)
B Pulse X (Blackwax Remix)