You can now add indie hopefuls The Big Pink to this list.
With one long player, released about 18 months ago on 4AD, the British duo did an excellent job at telescoping the sound of The Verve's first album with Chapterhouse's second. As such, saying the link between their music and the dance community is tenuous is a bit of a euphemism. That didn't stop !K7 from commissioning a mix for their Tapes series though. Following The Rapture's eclectic, one-size-fits-all selection, The Big Pink entry in the series is more focused, concentrating itself on dubstep and witch house. But as you'd expect coming from these kind of "DJs," this is entry-level mixing and picking: informed, but still a bit amateurish at the same time.
GRLL GRLL's shoegazing emo dance is, in a Big Pink-loves-distorted-guitars perspective, an appropriate opener, if slightly too dysmorphic for its own good. The mix then alternates between jolly dubstep ala Joker (with the quirky samples of "Snake Eater") and more morose moments like Sewn Leather's martial "Smoke Ov the Pvnk" (the title says it all, really). Aesthetically speaking, these are daring cuts, but technically speaking, the DJ at hand gives their combination a very disjointed, almost zombie-like, mechanical feel.
As the mix descends into its second half, the inclusion of Swedish duo jj's delicate, harmonica-enhanced Enya-esque coos seem awkwardly out of place: a (too) brief enclave of crystal clear, sunny folktronica that gets oppressed by its darker surroundings, especially as it is preceded by the garbled beat patterns of These New Puritans' remix of No Bra's "Minger" and is followed by the steep and claustrophobic meanderings of Salem's "Dirt." A Big Pink single is also juxtaposed towards the end (the Gang Gang Dance remix of "Velvet") as some sort of last-minute sonic signature, but it makes, with Actress's brainy dubstep-meets-IDM (the actually quite superb "Hubble") and oOoOO's creepy mess ("Mumbai"), for a diminutively satisfying sequence.
For many, witch house is the most interesting trend spawned from the US electronic underground over the past two years. Chillwave's weird and deviant cousin, the sub-genre definitely has been underrepresented in the mix CD category, and, in theory, it does sit well next to the more leftfield dubsteppers out there. But as the Walt-Disney-via-Wim-Delvoye cover artwork suggests, The Big Pink's Tapes is too superficial and way below the PG-13 classification to really be taken seriously as the definite compilation the scene needs.
Wed / 24 Nov 2010
01. GR†LLGR†LL - Slow Dancing
02. Love Distance - Move On The Rain
03. Gang Gang Dance - Ego War
04. Joker - Snake Eater
05. Active Child - Body Heat (So Far Away)
06. Henny Moan - Vreg Dreams (Little Slow Mix)
07. Sewn Leather - Smoke Ov The Pvnk
08. Balam Acab - See Birds
09. yusuf b - kiss the nite
10. ZVA - Nothing
11. No Bra - Minger (These New Puritans Remix)
12. jj - Let Go
13. Salem - Dirt
14. Light Asylum - Shallow Tears
15. The Big Pink - Velvet (BDG Remix By Gang Gang Dance)
16. Actress - Hubble
17. oOoOO - Mumbai
18. The xx - Fantasy
19. Horse Macgyver - Tetanus Wine