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Appleblim: Avebury (Tempa)

Laurie Osborne pushes further from his early tracks with this new one on Tempa. “Avebury” is certainly the obvious single here, the only track with a proper dancefloor tempo or rhythm section. It’s striking to me how much UK seminal dubstep and bass music, experimenting with hybrids of techno, house, dubstep, and breakbeat in modular and interesting ways, has shied from a lot of the more obvious trends and sounds that pop music has run away with. That machine gun dubstep snarl and skittering, frenetic beatmaking seems to have largely fallen away, while house and more mid-tempo beats seem to have grown more in fashion with artists like Appleblim, who’s been moving steadily toward more straightforward techno and house for the last few years. “Avebury” has an infectious, driving, continuous bassline, with rolling synth arps and busy, dusty drums.

The track is deceivingly simple, with only a few main pieces and parts that are filtered and manipulated over time. The other two cuts find him dropping out the bottom altogether, with a focus on waves of delay and effects, washed out with reverberation and haze. “Auburn Blaze” has all of the intensity and crackle that its title suggests, an undulating chorus of decay punctuated by hefty, low-end growls. If “Auburn Blaze” was a fiery sidestep, “Wandered” has managed just that, moved even further away from the beat. Instead, like its predecessor it undulates with static and tonality, often feeling like diffuse light richocheting off unpredictable terrain. I suspect fans of Osborne’s beatmaking precision may be disappointed by the lack of it here, but it points to potentially interesting new directions for his project, one to watch.

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