£8.99For anyone with a serious interest in understanding the context that gave life to today’s blossoming instrumental grime scene, Bloom’s ‘Quartz’ - originally released on Gobstopper in 2012 - should be your first point of reference. A fierce, juggernaut of a track, it was arguably the first grime beat of it’s kind to fully connect with wider listeners, blowing the rigid 140bpm template that had defined grime music since its formative years wide open in the process.Visit product page →
Through utilising space too, Bloom’s work on ‘Quartz’ felt all the more powerful and amplified - from every gunshot to every abrasive, detuned square wave, each element of the track felt razor-sharp, precise and perhaps most importantly, ruthlessly unapologetic.
Maybe it was this sense of brazen, self-assured artistic license that caught Bjork’s ear, after footage emerged of her playing the original mix at a recent Tri Angle Records party in New York.
To celebrate five years of Gobstopper, it feels all the more poignant then that label boss Mr. Mitch has decided to re-issue ‘Quartz’ on wax, complete with a devilish VIP edit and a specially commissioned remix from US producer Rabit - himself another artist crucial to instrumental grime’s worldwide boom.
The VIP baffles in the same way the original mix does, only this time via a boosted sound palette littered with slapstick zaps, pulses and fizzing FX, while Rabit turns a crackly, industrial hand to his rework - a dark, ghoulish interpretation that listens like a natural extension of his work on debut Tri Angle EP, ‘Baptizm’.
2. Quartz VIP
3. Rabit Remix
£8.99Mr. Mitch's Gobstopper Records open their 2016 releases with Loom's aptly titled 'European Heartache' EP, set to be delivered in time for Valentine's.Visit product page →
Self proclaiming his sound as "cold war grime", Daniel Timms aka Loom - according to Passion of the Weiss - "looks back to the square wave synths of the Eskimo era, but also the technology that shaped it: hissy cassette tapes, scratched up dub plates, dodgy pirate radio signals and early computer plugins".
'Grade', his debut EP for Gobstopper, was lauded by THUMP, Juno Plus, XLR8R, DJ Mag and The FADER. 'European Heartache' explores deeper into his spacious, romantic take on instrumental grime.
"The core theme in my EP is a struggle with identity. What's my identity when society dictates how I should present myself because of my race, sex, religion, sexual preference. What's my identity, when the borders keep changing, when I've been displaced, fled my country because of war, what's my identity when my sex changes? Do I even know my own identity, or am i just portraying what I think is expected of me?" – Loom.
1. Ultraviolet Love Scene
2. Fractured Light
3. Dyed Black Hair
£8.99‘The Man Waits’, originally released as part of Mr. Mitch’s ’The Room Where I Belong’ EP in early 2014, was the first record to exhibit Mitch as a master of emotion - a producer with an ambition to make you feel.Visit product page →
The pre-cursor to debut Planet Mu album ‘Parallel Memories’, it was a track that took complex, introverted emotion and laid it bare for all to digest, in turn freeing Mitch from producing more aggressive strands of grime music that - by his own admission - never fully connected.
Reissued for 2015, ‘The Man Waits’ - a hazy, melancholy, dream-like record by way of its composition - has now been reimagined by three of producers each riding on a wave of their own in 2015; Logos, Iglew and Gage.
Logos, himself a fellow founding member of influential club-night Boxed alongside Mr Mitch, rewrites the script completely, distilling the original’s core components down to a more sinister, dystopian-like beatless hush.
Gage’s flip on the other hand, is defined by short bursts of frenetic drum work offset by lengthy periods of gothic white noise and nightmarish melody, before Iglew offers lighter, melody-intense calm on his beautifully balanced, weightless mix.
1. The Main Waits
2. Gage Remix
3. Iglew Remix
4. Logos Remix
£8.99Mr. Mitch's Gobstopper Records follows Loom's 'European Heartache' with GOB019, a debut release by rising producer Odeko.Visit product page →
Influences on the Welsh producer's 'A History With Samus' EP are rooted in 21st century - and beyond - communication and evolution: "At the time of writing the EP, I was exploring my interest into humanity's developing obsession with technological integration, the process of creating synthetic life, virtual realities and environments and the potential future of companionship between human and AI."
Fact Magazine profiled Odeko among 10 grime producers to watch in 2016 writing "What we’ve heard hints at an expansive approach exploring the hidden connections between Rapid at his most lovelorn and electronic experiments by James Blake or Oneohtrix Point Never....He’s got a ton of potential to add nuance and shading to the label’s emotional grime deconstructions, and the outside influences carry a welcome influx of new ideas at a time when the genre can feel a bit self-referential. Trust us on this one."
2. The Yumato Spring
3. Sugar Acid
£8.99Bath-based producer Odeko returns to Mr. Mitch’s blossoming Gobstopper imprint with a new two-track single, following a 2016 that saw the label release EPs from mainstay Loom and Irish duo CLU, as well as Odeko’s debut record, ‘A History With Samus’.Visit product page →
Deeply idiosyncratic, Odeko’s sound references a variety of themes without ever feeling bound by any and on ‘Digital Botanics’, he takes this bright, one-of-a-kind sound design to new heights. Subtle trap patterns provide the foil for gloopy, toy-like melodies to glide over the top, spiked by short bursts of growling, industrial noise.
On ‘Construct Conduct’, Odeko offers his take on euphoric, 80s-inspired synth music — only prepped for the future — with pulsating, heady grooves and spiralling, acid-y melodies nodding to a growing reputation that he is quietly becoming one of the UK’s most exciting young sound designers.
1. Digital Botanics
2. Construct Conduct
£8.99London-based producer and DJ Tarquin has returned to Gobstopper Records for his second release with the seminal underground label, ‘Grease’. Tarquin delves deeper into the boundary pushing sound that his productions have become synonymous with for this two track release, out on digital and 12” vinyl formats from 5th may.Visit product page →
The release’s A-side, ‘Grease (Chord Mix)’ is a high tempo example of the genre’s more experimental side, using fragmented percussive samples set to a background of pitch-bent chord stabs and twisted melodic elements.
Providing as much impact in the track’s negative space as in its instrumentation, Tarquin’s minimalist approach to production on ‘Grease (Chord Mix)’ establishes its boldness and makes it one of the most recognisable examples of deconstructed club music of the year so far.
As a counter-point to the abstract starkness of ‘Grease (Chord Mix)’, the release’s flip side ‘Foxtown’ utilises ominous synths and distorted bass tones to tackle the more upfront sound of first generation grime production. Tarquin adds short, sharp chops of texture to the mix from every angle, creating a sound that feels robust without ever adding too many layers. Using revered trademarks of the genre’s sound such as MIDI flute melodies and menacing pads, ‘Foxtown’ brings to mind a more glitched-out interpretation of some of Dizzee Rascal’s ‘Boy In Da Corner’-era production work.
Tarquin’s second release on Gobstopper Records is the sound of an artist mastering his own experimental sound whilst acknowledging its foundational elements. This flexible approach to his productions places Tarquin highly in the ranks of the UK’s forward thinking club elite and makes ‘Grease’ one of 2017’s exciting and essential grime releases.