Missqulater: They Rave Us (Central Processing Unit)
The CPU label continues along its trajectory of championing the 90s braindance sound associated with the Rephlex label. The four cuts of They Rave Us sound firmly rooted in 90s authenticity, with chunky breakbeat loops and thick synths that are as restless as they are melodic. Immediate comparisons for me include Ceephax, Cylob, and Luke Vibert, with tinges of vintage µ-Ziq as well. The joyful refrain of “Tempest” that reveals itself about halfway through is perfect, completely nailing it. I usually enjoy CPU releases, to such an extent that I’m inclined to spring for them without previewing, but this one may be my favorite yet. I fell in love with the first cut right away, so imagine my pleasant surprise that “They Rave Us,” the second cut, is just as solid. Its clangity broken drum fills feel like a dead-on nod to Jack Dangers’ Meat Beat Manifesto heyday, with looping samples that are equal parts vintage rave and EBM until its refrain which is pure rave goodness.
“Everything I Know in the Streets” kicks up the tempo and is a lush drum & bass number, with rolling breaks and airy pads, like a warm sunset with a soundtrack splitting the difference between Mike Paradinas and LTJ Bukem. “Bruva Gonna Take You There” is faster still, with choppy breakbeat loops and goofy rave synth zaps that eventually give way to some great frenetic acid. It’s actually a little hard to do the music justice, running the risk of genre-word salad, but judge for yourself by giving it a listen. It’s probably my favorite of all of the 90s throwback stuff I’ve heard in a while, highly recommended.