El Rakkas - Seas Of Disease / 12"
Seas Of Disease
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.