Donor Lens - Desire Path
May 6, 2022
What one can only hope to be the first of many releases from new venture Cutcross Recordings starts with Sickle Cell from E3 Breaks. An expansive space is created as ominous humming glides across a spacious landscape. A voice counts down and that familiar sound of thundering London-inspired bass kicks in. Heavy-handed but trapped within a small space, the bass catapults back to the listener as if bouncing against the tight, brutalist architecture of the U.K cityscape. Slow-moving, jungle percussion spews from every break in the earth-shattering bass. E3 Breaks is somehow able to create such a destructive force within a track that does not lose its shape or structure. The artist holds nothing back in the track’s execution, aspects of the track bring about a wide and dynamic feel, and this is beautifully decimated every time that huge bass hits.
L U C Y takes the reigns with Edge It. Stumbling bass drums invigorate the track from the very start, the stereo field hissing as tension is built. L U C Y breaks us into the main section as a resonant bassline whippets around the stereo field. The artist builds from there, introducing us to a new, unique sound every few seconds. She throws percussion at us, only to swipe it back as reversed bass drums screech in the midst of the controlled cacophony. Chirping vocal samples weave their way in and out of bass hits. She ends it on a sinister note as the lower end of track moves away from the listener, leaving us with horror movie piano samples and muffled bass.
The start to Sir Rah’s Dulcet Tear treads a clearer and more pristine path in its opening. Sirens and echoed sound peeling off of a crisp percussion track. Rattling snare sounds create a pacy atmosphere. The arpeggiating melody line trickles through past the percussion, as slick samples create a fluid and flowing rhythm. Once again, we find voices ghosting around the harmful environment created by the heavy production. Something about the percussion and bass is so incredibly vibrant, the track never feels too unfriendly. Sir Rah creates this incredibly jagged moment as we enter the second half, letting the snare and hi-hat sizzle like napalm before silencing them momentarily.
The 4-track compilation ends with Dead End. Detuned piano samples create an eerie introduction, shrouded in echo. A skippy beat begins as a highly tuned snare creates a light, airy feeling. This sound is joyously cast aside as the Unknown Artist who has made the track strikes the listener over the head with a deep bass that provides foundation for the rest of the song. At the midpoint, the artist decides to swipe everything off the table. Detached piano wanders about in the newly silent ether. But the bass creeps back in through the back door, regaining all of its low-end heaviness just before the same detuned piano samples herald a dive back into the heady instrumentation.
Each artist somehow manages to produce a sonic atmosphere that has this engaging, intimidating feel but is able to stay unpredictable, animated and fun. The group of four band together to deliver a hugely refreshing look into the London scene, fit with unapologetically hard bass and dark undertones.
Purchase here: https://cutcross.bandcamp.com/album/with-the-fracture