El Rakkas

Artist:El Rakkas
Title:Seas Of Disease + CD
Label:LoDubs
Austrian production duo El Rakkas make a sound that floats somewhere in the space between Rhythm And Sound, and the more deeply atmospheric end of the dubstep spectrum. However, to suggest that these boys are more about headphone burn than dancefloor glow would be to do them a glib dis-service, as anyone who has pushed their previous LoDubs 12" through a proper soundsystem can verify. The original mystical versions of these tracks first appeared in July '09, and now those elements have been bathed in the scrutiny of two dons of bass, LV and XI, with a sensibility that shows a pretanatural understanding of the individual songs inherent traits. LV's long association with Hyperdub goes back to 2007 and the righteous 'Globetrotting' 12, through summer 08's hit-that-never-was 'CCTV', right up to the yearning 'Turn Away', easily one of the best tracks on the label's 'Five Years' collection. Their re-rub of 'Seas Of Disease' injects a punchy (nearly) four-on-the-floor kick drum and driving swing, with distinctive crackles and effects in abundance, defining what could be the touchstone of a newly-emergent familia-bassus, should some wastrel blogger decide to give it a pithy name. Conversely, and in pure ying to LV's yang, Toronto dance master and LoDubs veteran XI presents a monster fix of 'I & I' with muted drums, rich sub-bass tones, and clipped rhythmic edits which add a propulsive energy to the original's dreamtime aura. Sticking steadfast to his don't-throw-everything-at-the-wall version style, the raw power in his remix comes from an "anti-wobble" technique, an ingeniously applied bassline full of subharmonic sweeps, bleeps, and creeps that similarly demands a classification of its own. Beh-leev dat. Limited run of 400 copies including free CD of both tracks in the patented LoDubs Vinyl-Plus jacket.
Artist:El Rakkas
Title:Seas Of Disease
Label:LoDubs
Austria's El Rakkas are the latest outernational production team (or person... we just don't know) to be drawn down from bass music's globe-spanning jet streamby the ever-searching LoDubs, and once again followers of the 'ardkore continuumhave much reason to be grateful for their efforts in exposing another hot pocket of heavy creation. As could reasonably be expected, based on the dub-reflective electronic sounds of other neighbouring regions, the El Rakkas style is laden with a mystery and depth which seems to channel a kind of collectively-embedded Northern European dub impulse, with a thickness to their output that is simply overwhelming. Displaying sonic kinship with the same open Berliner techno influence which pervades the likes of Spatial, Appleblim, T++, or Ike Release, 'Seas Of Disease' leaves first impressions that demurely cloak it's true potential. First aired last year as a digital-only release on the Graz-based netlabel Luv, the clicking garage rhythms, complex syncopated half-half-step beat and decaying stabs initially suggest an atmospheric trip into low-lit mental corners, but once properly amplified, the lurking seismic bass undercurrents rise to fill every crevice with a geseous low end, bubbling like sub-strata steam escaping through hot spring mud. Allied to those cyclic mid-range patterns, and with a forward dynamic built as much on subtracting layers as adding them, the sheer voluminous quality of 'Seas Of Disease' has a magnetic effect that will always draw bodies to the heart of the dance like a super-dense dark star. On the flip, 'I & I' aligns with the Rhythm & Sound / Burial Mix school of JA subsonics, gently unfolding over six minutes of deep rooted bass, sweet drifting vocal clouds, and a kick & snare combo vast enough with full power behind it to stun birds in flight. It may be a woefully abused word in music writing, but in the case of El Rakkas, "awesome" is not out of place.