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Killawatt:
Contort (Osiris)

These
tracks show off a different side of Killawatt’s progressively more
diverse skill set. Instead of mining the usual more menacing
staggered bass music of his previous releases for Osiris, these tracks instead
find him locking into a distinctly different kind of groove. It’s
steady and more buoyant, yet still aggressive, having an almost
industrial dance quality to it. “Contort” really subverted my
expectations fully, I’ll admit. Its remarkable level of restraint
makes it a total tease, over five minutes of a head bobbing groove
that’s almost entirely slaps of wet spring reverb and effects, like
all of the decay without any of the actual drums. It’s weirdly
effective, but an odd choice for a single.

“Flutercuck” ups the
ante with a much heavier hand. Its bright kicks remind me of vintage
industrial grooves, with an almost militaristic heft behind it. It’s
that mechanical lurch that powers the track, capitalizing on all of
the tough low-end that’s featured so prominently in Killawatt’s
past repertoire, but with this new twist. The third cut, “Gutter,” is another industrialized
bobber that channels all of the vigor of mid 90s LFO. It’s lean and
mean, with a muscular, hard snare and a thick, chugging kick pattern.
Those who’ve followed Killawatt’s evolution from a post-dubstep
producer to something less easily categorizable ought to appreciate
the lateral moves of these tracks, though my favorites are the more
EBM-tinged second and third cuts.

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