We here at Infinite Machine have made a habit out of celebrating the anniversary of our inception as a label with crew love compilations. Conscientious fans will remember our previous two compilations as retrospectives into the highlights of their respective years, gathering all top players from our roster and all frequent contributors for an aural birthday bash. For year 3 we’re switching it up – while still firmly a fam outing, our newest compilation is all about welcoming copious new talent into our midst, and hinting at what’s on the horizon for us. Given that most of said new talent is UK-based, this one also serves as a next-gen-biased exemplar in UK club, at least as far as we’re concerned.
Arma starts things off with “Soundboy”, a jolly, junglist love letter to UK hardcore, suffused in rave candy and dub signatures throughout. It’s a statement of intent for the compilation - via its euphoric rave piano opening, it functions as an apex of celebration. Wallwork & RZR team up with Ltd Colours in expanding on this with their deconstructive breaks approach on “B2”, producing this collection’s definitive all-ages banger. Next up, things get murky with Cloaka’s “Junta” – an ominous club concoction, distilled from the dark side of syncopated techno, bare-bones electro and dub-tinged industrial. Truska picks up from where Cloaka left off with his uncompromisingly futuristic “Flux”, trekking through heretofore uncharted realms of rhythmic deliverance and low-end fetishism.
M-Waves & Ardstepz’ contributions, “Like That” & “Rinse Out”, respectively, keep it decisively future with their acid-heavy update of yesteryear’s “nu skool breaks”. The interplay of skittering UKG riddim, bubbling 303 antics and unhinged breaks ricochet will make you want to rinse these ones out indeed. Moving forward, the Berlin-meets-Bristol, hard-as-nails techno of Liar’s “Warlock” serves as an abrupt palate cleanser, and as a reiteration of our core values – industrial ferocity pounding astride sultry diva pop; an act of unholy conception spawning a weaponized club finale; all from IM’s resident digital occultist. Vlsonn keeps up the pace with the even-more-industrial, mechanized warehouse techno workout of “Iberia”, whose sluggish half-time 4/4 remains nonetheless energetic, courtesy of the biggest kick sound conceivable, outside of gabber at least.
Blâme’s follow-up, “Renegade”, a perfect companion piece to “Like That” & “Rinse Out”, is a return to their UKG-meets-breaks formula, albeit with a more tempered, clean-cut and dubbed-out vibe, and a generous helping of tribal inflections throughout. The very same can be said about Abe’s subsequent “Mickey’s House”; however, Abe’s track sets itself apart with its absolute belter of a bassline, seemingly channeling the entire soul of jungle in its downward whine. Next up – we couldn’t honestly call this comp an “exemplar in UK club” without representing grime, and Toka’s manic war dub “Can’t Tell Me” does just that: nods to “Pulse X”, eski clicks, gliding square bass, clap-happy riddim, MC shouts, militant strings, the works. A crash-course in grime linguistics, and an expertly executed one at that. Otik keeps bowing dem militant strings for his grimy UKG murk anthem “Rough Patch” – a chilling, dramatic, CEV bassbin ripper.
On the fringe between Paris club and UK club, Kouslin’s “LDN Underground” ultimately tips toward the latter, at least in name. An incessantly repeated, guttural vocal cut sits aside a syncope techno beat, while a sublow reese and acidic squelches alternate on the low-end. Butti’s “Tension”, a welcome, surprising union of UK club’s functionalist and atmospheric extremes, respectively, nonetheless turns out to be a formidable drum tool. Passing the flag to Carlton, his “Input” is an EBM-reminiscent jaunt through code poetry & DSP magick. Lastly, Clough’s “Yum” is power electronics revivalism - a cultured nod to the logical extremes of electronic music, made sonic flesh anew. A fitting finale to our little musical time capsule.
Happy birthday to us, for we’re a jolly good fellow… the lot. Play this, rinse this, dance to this… celebrate with us. Infinite love! ((∞))
Early support from DJ God, Club Jesus & The Holy Ghost Producer.
released September 1, 2014
All tracks mastered by Liar.
Artwork by Oscar Rubio.