Alfred EnglishAlfred English
Piston EP
Catalog No: IM042
Release Date: 29 April 2016
Format: Digital

1. Air Grid – FREE DL @ XLR8R
2. Proximity Mine
3. Piston
4. Extraction Console
5. Piston (TSVI & Luru Remix)
6. Piston (Patrick Brian Remix)
7. Piston (WWWINGS Remix)
8. Piston (ETEVLEH Remix)

Marking the beginning of a new era, ULTRAMAJIC label manager and internet savant Alfred English welcomes his anticipated debut EP on Infinite Machine. Perhaps more serious then his visual artwork, Piston EP sees Alfred craft club music that is strangely heavy and hardcore as it is comforting and emotional. Rather than filtering the fleeting trends of the Grime Clubtrak wasteland, the Los Angeles artist took the vast, industrial tradition of Hardcore woven with dark, broken beats and emotive, retro chords, built with the attention of an IDM or EBM producer.

Opening song Air Grid (available from XLR8R as a free download) is an experiment in syncopation and the art of continual tension building, rhythmically contrasting the dramatic synth stabs against regionally-rotating drum patterns, nodding to 80s Electro as much as it is to classic Jersey Club, and embodying the spirit of Jimmy Edgar, DJ Haus, and early Hotflush.

Proximity Mine, the second track, heavily electrifies the basis of Air Grid, leading Industrial Techno stabs in a brutal, pulsating call and response over a driving, concrete Club rhythm. In the second half, Alfred summons up the likes of Alex Coulton or early Distance with an oscillating, half-time deconstruction that paralyzes the violence of the first half.

With an inviting, emotional introduction, the EP’s title song, Piston, does not take long to collapse into a merciless, alien assault. The light, club beat is simple yet clear, the melody is subtle but catchy. It is heavy, but contrasted by its strange, brief sincerity and tactical use of negative space, it consumes as much as it comforts.

Alfred’s final song, Extraction Console, is perhaps the most comprehensive of the bunch. As if a morning conversation between birds was industrially-translated, wonky, drunk synths flip over and over between Hip Hop, Electro and Club rhythms before the drop D power chords call back.

For the sake of full scale club assault, four were asked to remix Piston. TSVI & Luru flip it fully into a slow-burning Club tool, underlined by ominous trumpets and straightforward Afro-Caribbean rhythms. Patrick Brian plays up the original’s contrast with an extra emphasis on the angelic chords between the sci-fi assault, and an extra dose of snapping snares. WWWINGS do as they do best, and framed Piston as a haunted, gothic dub. ETEVLEH meticulous deconstructed our title song so as to rebuild it into a chaotically beautiful battle of strings, steel drums and Grime, as if the theme from a metaphysically-fucked anime.


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