In Drum Play (Hessle Audio)
McAuley’s second album comes four years after his debut, with
a string of Eps peppering across the years in between. In Drum Play
continues Pangaea’s trajectory from a post-dubstep bass music outlet
to something funkier, clubbier, and perhaps more straightforward. It
picks up where New Shapes in the Air left off, wherein most of the
drum tracks lean toward a 4/4 dancefloor sound than the more spacious
and airy dub of early releases. Of its ten tracks, only a handful
properly throw down, and, despite those being the most conventional,
they are some of In Drum Play’s most memorable cuts. “Rotor Soap”
and “More Is More to Burn” are some of my personal favorites,
with first track “Mutual Exchange” also topping the list. Its
undulating arpeggios and staggered groove make it a strong opener,
setting the tone for In Drum Play’s juxtaposition of funky beatmaking
and more melodic and hooky arrangements.
For those more interested in
Pangaea’s bass music roots, there are a few tracks here that feel
loyal. “Bulb in Zinc” has a wobbly, bulbous bass pattern
underpinning its jerky cadence, while “Send It In” features a
similarly lurching groove accentuated by woozy flute phrase samples.
“Scaled Wing” is the only track on the album to eschew beats
altogether, gliding on reverberated pads and twinkling delays, a nice
respite about halfway through. In Drum Play feels like a nicely
varied entry from Pangaea, often skating the line between techno,
house, bass music, and something other. Clocking in at under an hour,
it goes down smooth, and I find myself coming back to it repeatedly.
It may be front-loaded with its strongest tracks, but the entire
album is well worth the time.
Buy it: Pangaea Bandcamp