Svetlana Industries

Artist:Piece Of Shh
Title:Diablo Riddim
Label:Svetlana Industries
The 'Diablo Riddim EP' is the third release from Belgrade imprint Svetlana Industries, following well-received vinyl outings already this year by Filtercutter (with Ramadanman refix) and the acclaimed 'Tropics EP' from Teebs and Jackhigh, which drew praise from figures such as Mary Anne Hobbs, Hudson Mohawke, Dorian Concept, and FaltyDL. Where Filtercutter was playful and stripped, and Teebs and Jackhigh between them invoked a hazy otherworldliness and hazy, Serbian producer Piece Of Shh... dials up a direct line to aggressive, dark and focused. Although his will be a new name to most international listeners, this is not POS's first outing on wax, having previously released a 7" on Berlin's Ear Wax label under the name Belgradeyard Soundsystem, which was subsequently featured by Bonobo on a mix for Solid Steel / Ninja Tune. More recently he scored major success as one half of techno duo Cheap'n'Deep, whose 'Words, Breaths And Pauses' 12" put out through Berlin's infamous Hard Wax got onto the playlists of Marcel Dettman, Josh Wink, The Black Dog, Laurent Garnier, DJ Hell, and Surgeon. On the original version of 'Diablo Riddim', POS starts with a stiff rhythm reminiscent of Martin Kemp and the Blunted Robots crew, while the synth stabs recall the Berlin-influenced bass sounds of Hot Flush or Martyn. The surprise factor kicks in when he introduces a burbling 303-style acid funk line to take the track into far grimier territory, boogie-backed with brooding aggression and relentless forward motion. Next up comes a remix from Zomby, his first drop since the Actress re-rub back in March. Zomby likes to surprise and this track is no exception, combining his familiar gloopy sounds with that ebbing and flowing beat effect he's made his own, running over a heavily chopped halfstep beat. Spanish producer Hektagon (Z-Audio/Freakz of Nature) puts up probably the most obvious dancefloor banger on the EP, taking the forward drive and gnarly toughness of the original and coupling it with a dubstep shuffle beat. The deeper and tripper he goes, the more he emphasizes the melodic aspects and adds some more of his own, shaping them in a beautifully rounded dynamic to produce a tune that alternates beauty with power in a high energy anthem. Finally, and exclusive to this vinyl release, the last track is two minutes of acid loops at 140bpm to be sampled, scratched or dropped over beats at will. Svetlana Industries releases are mastered and cut at South London's famed Transition Studios, where faultless club sounds have been honed and tempered since before the dawn of time.
Artist:Teebs & Jackhigh
Title:Tropics EP
Label:Svetlana Industries
The second release from Belgrade's Svetlana Industries is something quite different and equally special. This seven track mini album represents an 18 month collaboration between Brainfeeder beatmaker Teebs and his British counterpart Jackhigh. It also marks the unique evolution of the beats scene as a truly international online phenomenon. Back in the day, London based Jackhigh had already been featured as 17 year old on the genre-defining 'Beatnicks' EPs from Germany's Up My Alley label, while an equally young Teebs found himself living in LA with Flying Lotus and Samiyam for flatmates. As Teebs remembers it, Jackhigh put a snippet of a tune he liked on Myspace and he asked him to send it over. "I flipped it, sent it back. He added strings, sent it back to me again." And so it continued, in a very slow organic way, loops becoming processed and degraded and altered and added to, and tracks slowly emerging. The first piece to come out of this process was 'Clutch', also the first track on the record, and the first to ever get a public hearing as part of Flying Lotus' legendary Essential Mix for BBC Radio 1 in November 2008. Time progressed, and seven tunes in total emerged. These tracks never existed as arrangements laid out in software on someone's computer, just as one stereo file, endlessly worked and tweaked and eroded. The resulting tracks are like archaeology. A bit of distortion that crept in there, a digital blip here, becomes encoded, processed, incorporated into the tune. What's remarkable given the process is how coherent the whole record actually sounds. This is truly a mini-album, an opus. All the pieces fit together absolutely, like variations on a theme, and the record has a unique hazy, waterlogged theme: organic aquarelle nostalgia, simultaneously happy and sad. Sonically it's as much connected to the compressed blessed out worlds of Toro Y Moi and Washed Out as it is glitchier beatmakers such as Hud Mo or Dorian Concept. Teebs has built a huge street-level following, but apart from one track on Mary Anne Hobbs' 'Wild Angels' compilation, this is his first release. Meanwhile, after Beatnicks Vol. 1 & 2 and a couple of remixes, Jackhigh laid low, refining his sound and building up a body of work which, as well as several releases planned for Svetlana, is about to see release on Rush Hour and Ghostly International. In the current slew of similar sounding synth-based low bpm releases, this is a very different record: fresh, organic, mature, holistic, unified, and totally next level.
Artist:Filtercutter
Title:1Up
Label:Svetlana Industries
Svetlana Industries is a new label based in Belgrade, Serbia, long the unsung home to a serious late night party scene known only to the cognoscenti. Recent extensive profiles in Resident Advisor and The Guardian among others have finally started to peel the lid off the rather secretive heart of the Balkans, and with signings like Mary Anne Hobbs favourites 1000 Names and Brainfeeder member Teebs, Svetlana is already widely tipped as a label to watch in 2010. Their first international release is a fizzing 8bit dubstep banger from Bosnian producer Filtercutter, who takes a distorted perspective on the Nintendo sound palette and adds layers of detail to deliver a track that is at once bouncing, and chirpy yet spiky and aggressive. Like a darker take on Joker's purple wow sound, or more electro sounding Akira Kiteshi, it's perhaps closest to the productions coming out of the grime scene with a debt to early Benga. The tune manages to retain strange menace without compromising the 8bit soundset or resorting to any of the cheap tricks that bedevil most adolescent "nasty" tracks. No shouty film samples here, just cascading layers of bleeps, chirps and suspended bass. The flipside sees a total rework by Ramadanman, probably one of the dubstep producers of the year in 2009, whose tunes brought a whole new angle, while his Hessle Audio label pioneered a deeper, more intricate and thought-out sound that soon dominated. Here he strips the tune right back and focuses on a driving half step rhythm, a bed of clipped and clear percussion, and heavy heavy sub bass, over a hypnotic rhythmic theme that builds and builds. This is one of those tunes in which everything is happening where you think it's not: the hi-hats are constantly evolving and the bass is never quite the same from one bar to the next, sounds adapt and shift and new parts keep coming in without ever quite seeming like they have. So far the track has attracted repeat plays on Kiss and Sub FM, and Ramadanman has incorporated his remix as a regular part of his set. Both tracks have been mastered at Transition for a spatious yet punchy sound with forceful bass presence.