Since its inception, Glasgow's Stuff Records has had a reputation for releasing consistently forward-thinking electronica. Recent 12-inches by The Village Orchestra and Slugabed have been championed by tastemakers like Mark Pritchard and Mary Anne Hobbs, while Rustie's "Jagz the Smack" has been widely hailed as one of the defining releases of 2007. Label boss Richard Chater has demonstrated a considerable talent for anticipating, and influencing trends in electronic music. A new release on Stuff Records has become something of an event, and this EP, the first from Aberdonian producer Offshore, is no exception.
The record opens with the heavy, loping swing of "Beef Strong Enough." The track has melodic atmospherics redolent of mid '90s Autechre or Boards of Canada, while the crushing bass kicks and persistent, fidgeting snare sample suggest a tough jungle influence. The EP really starts to come into its own with the fierce wobble of "Girly," the track's keening synths evoking a reluctant, gently melancholic euphoria over pulverising bass drops. The crunching beat and paranoid swirl of "Femur," meanwhile, closes side one, inspired apparently by the producer witnessing an overzealous bouncer breaking an unfortunate friend's leg.
Side two opens with the similarly sinister "Snuggler," the track's shuddering, predatory leads and synthetic textures heavily referencing Rustie's recent "Bad Science." Drums of Death's juggernaut remix of "Beef Strong Enough" closes side two while providing the record's most versatile DJ tool, the robotic, churning synths and punishing, thickly compressed percussion reminiscent of Modeselektor's unhinged electro.
Like many artists at the start of their career, Offshore wears his influences on his sleeve. The 8-bit abstractions of Rustie and Zomby are obvious reference points, although Offshore's emotional accessibility and clear melodic sensibility are perhaps more directly comparable to recent releases by Starkey and Ikonika. Offshore's future releases will undoubtedly benefit from the development of a more distinctive authorial voice, but it's hard not to imagine from the results here that he has plenty more to say.
Tracklist: Offshore - Offshore EPA1 Beef Strong Enough
B2 Beef Strong Enough (Drums Of Death Remix)
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