Andy Stott - The Massacre EP
Andy Stott keeps the pressure up with another exceptional emission from deepest, darkest, um, Manchester. It's easy to get distracted by the attention-grabbing bass-monster B-side, but don't overlook extended slow-jam 'Unknown Exception' on the A, a craftier beast. Like all the best games, it's one of two halves: the first sets the scene, with atmospheric, dubby pads, a double bassline, a snare so crunchy I had to check my needle for dust (in a good way) and sharp, rattling hats that inject a vital swing. After a dramatic pause at half-time, the kick finally drops, and the track straightens its spine. Stott introduces new percussive elements, plays with phreaked frequencies (calling to mind Mad Mike's deep space transmissions) and adds a roomier bassline, the searching shards of chord keeping the continuity. The accompanying press blurb says this track has been in gestation for a few months, undergoing a number changes before being released – makes sense, as this is a perfectly measured excursion into the deep. 'Massacre' is totally different, but just as vital. Marrying a pacy 4/4 signature with a serious, half-steppa bassline, occasional drops and tecchy hi-hats and, most-impressively, a dramatic, metallic stabbing riff that revolves around your brain long after the needle is lifted. Wonderful stuff.