Though it started as a hip-hop label, London's Ramp Recordings quickly found its niche when it began issuing a run of head-turning bass mutations from Zomby, FaltyDL, Breach, Hot City and Tokimonsta, among others. That's a pretty wide-open remit, but now they're diversifying further, with the debut from their sub-label Fourth Wave.
This two-sider from Amsterdam producer Pieter Willems, AKA Presk, takes to the 2-step garage/dubstep/funky-nexus like a duck to water. Not that those three styles are all this record has in its DNA. The stuttering vocal on "and Cut" harks back to early Chicago jack tracks as well as present-day juke, and the production is ultra-spare. But the sound field never feels empty: the Caribbean-tinged rhythm track jumps too much for that. "Mold," the B, is straighter, rhythmically—fewer off-beats, more of a rolling pulse with tics, narrow-lane 2-step—but its twin focuses are on a robotic vocal snatch (from Daft Punk's "Technologic"—cute, guys) that plays off a winding, bulbous sub-bass like a rolling wave. When that b-line isn't in there, it sounds as much like tech-house as anything. Will this be what Fourth Wave does, full stop? Stay tuned.
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Tracklist: Presk - and Cut A and Cut