British duo Pendle Coven have never been an easy act to pigeonhole. Their singles and mixes for Manchester’s up-and-coming Modern Love imprint have have gleefully romped through genres as diverse as classic hardcore, dub and ambient techno, and true to form, their latest EP sees them shirking the electro timbers of their previous 12” in favor of a cavernous take on the dub techno format that has proven so popular this year.
Easing in on a pillow of richly layered pads swathed in just the right amount of reverb and echo, the single’s lead track, ‘Habitual Stress,’ settles into a lumbering groove underpinned by a chest-caving kick drum. Tastefully adorned by acid-edged arpeggios, the track is propelled forward by crisp, snapping snares, relentlessly coasting along until the bottom is ripped out and the mix is let loose to dissolve into a mist of slowly decaying LFO and delay feedback. In contrast, ‘Brick Tutor,’ on the flip, is a more laidback affair, featuring softer drums and skittering cymbal patterns propping up a dense wall of slowly pulsing chords. It’s not too far removed from the more dancefloor cuts in Kompakt’s Pop Ambient series, and provides a wonderful counterpoint to the more direct assault of the A-side.
This twelve is by far Pendle Coven’s most well defined statement yet. 'Habitual Stress' is one of their heaviest bass workouts, but both sides will prove useful either working the crowd up into the peak hours, or letting them down easy when it’s all coming to an end. Let’s hope Pendle Coven stick with this sound for a bit. It has potential.
Tracklist: Pendle Coven - Habitual Stress EPA Habitual Stress
B Brick Tutor