The home to a host of revered UK labels such as Punch Drunk and Tectonic, Bristol has consistently delivered an array of underground sounds. Whether it's the mutant house, funkier "purple" strains of dubstep or techno-centric productions currently emanating from the city, the one constant is bass. Pursuit Grooves, AKA Vanese Smith, doesn't come from Bristol—her origins are in Brooklyn—but she embodies this creative outlook as well as anyone, and it's clearly why Pinch's Tectonic imprint has decided to release her first officially released full-length under this moniker.
Smith has a knack for bending BPMs, blending hip-hop, house and bass ingredients into one form. She built a reputation in the instrumental beats circuit, releasing tracks on compilations such as Beat Dimensions on Rush Hour and getting plenty of love from DJs like Gilles Peterson and Benji B. Spliced within the 11 album tracks here are deep meditative vocals, psychedelic boogie, hints of Chicago house, headphone beats and broken soul. "Revolutionaries" pogoes the album into action with playful and squelchy energetic stabs underneath Smith's subtle yet sharp vocals. "Type Send Universe" punches even further, taking you on a looped up trip of heavy hitting cosmic boogie. "Transformation of Consciousness" has a serious dance floor wiggle and some frantic irregular stabs, as does closing track "What About," exposing subtle Chicago house traits.
There are also catchy, uplifting tracks as well, most notably "Clueless" which moves flawlessly from an intro of purposeful jacked broken beats and quick raps into a smooth soulful shuffle. "I Sink" takes the listener seriously deep, meanwhile, with pounding mechanical steel, raw rhymes, uplifting echoed vocals and a wicked bouncing broken groove akin to Bugz in the Attic's darker moments. In short, this is a tightly packed, vigorous and soulful album. Smith may not come from Bristol, but her open-minded outlook fits right in on one of the city's most respected labels.
Buy Pursuit Grooves - Frantically Hopeful at
Tracklist: Pursuit Grooves - Frantically Hopeful 01. Revolutionaries
02. Type Send Universe
03. I Sink
04. Transformation Of Consciousness
05. Peace Talks
06. Mars Is Rising
11. What About?
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