Fokus Group: Nut Nut EP (Pennyroyal)
This foursome of very cool bangers comes courtesy of Ben Sims and Paul Mac, collaborating together and releasing on Untold’s Pennyroyal imprint. While neither artist is new to the techno game, I am really enjoying this hybrid of sounds that feel both current and nostalgic. The bass and synth sounds herein recall EBM and vintage rave while the rhythm tracks are more varied. The title cut is fairly no nonsense and punchy, like Ben Sims’ own fairly recent “In the City” but with a distorted Nitzer Ebb twist. However, I prefer the chunky breakbeat loop of “Mucky Crack Funk” that follows, with its undulating phased bass synth drones that so strongly recalls 90s rave. “93.2” splits the difference with punchy snares and details that are totally flanged, subtle on even the bassline (in the form of pitched kicks only, it would seem) and no melody, a fantastic dancefloor roller. Lastly, “Rave X3 = Murder” picks up the EBM baton from the first track and runs all the way to the finish line with it, a meaty EBM/techno hybrid that sounds as sweaty as the bodies it’s likely to move on a dark dancefloor.