Ital Tek: Gonga (Planet µ)
“Gonga” is such a berserker of a track that it makes me dizzy listening to it. Its constant up-pitching of drum sounds and pads and sequencing lines feels manic, not to mention all the crazy footworky rhythm patterns that pile atop one another. It reminds me of Hrvatski’s old drill-n-bass track “Routine Exercise” in its constant motion and bending tones, almost panic-inducing with not without a fun spirit about it. It’s impressive in its frenzied manner both in how fresh it sounds and how far it distances Ital Tek from the dubstep sounds he’s explored in the past. This is much more in line with the mutant footwork stuff Planet µ has been exploring, and it puts Ital Tek once again at the top of the pack. The rest of the EP is solid, too — “Pixel Haze” crosses over more neatly into the synthy sci-fi framework of labelmate Kuedo, making it perhaps the most conventional offering here (but no less handsome), but “Cobalt” is another startlingly fresh take on genre hybrids. Its uptempo breaks and staggered kicks recall the more severe side of scientific drum & bass (think Ed Rush or Optical circa ‘97), but in a way that feels completely current and forward-looking rather than nostalgic. Big boss man Mike Paradinas turns out a remix of “Gonga” to round things out, stripping it back into something more minimal. Still, despite being less full-on and manic than the original doesn’t mean his mix isn’t still somehow disorienting and anxious, with some odd vocal bits popping up here and there. It’s less aggressive than Ital Tek’s original, but still quite effective and frenetic. It’s a series of “wow” moments for Ital Tek; I’m really excited to hear what he does next, but in the meantime these tracks still have my head spinning!