Black Noi$e, real name Rob Mansel, is of a new, musically omnivorous generation. "I used to sit on forums and message boards and just download everything there was to download, all genres," he told The Hundreds. Mansel also plays bass in a hardcore band, has DJ'd for M.I.A. and studies grime alongside rap. Mansel's self-titled debut, for Vanity Press, is a bold take on his home town's house legacy.
Mansel's work flitters between dusty soul samples and more aggressive sounds. Both sides are on display on here. The opening track, "Sunburn," sounds like an updated version of Theo Parrish at his most paranoid. A minor-key piano chord holds things down while a wonky mid-range bassline and noisy leads set an ominous tone. "Freaknik" is a feel-good skating rink jam whose strings and loping bassline feel like a tribute to Andrés. The closer, "Brick Wall," runs with that same sped-up soul feeling, but this time with percussion that's somewhere between Motor City electro and Hessle Audio-style nuance. Like his forbears, Mansel grew up listening to Detroit radio, steeped in the city's music culture. It laid the groundwork for Black Noi$e's modern approach.