If you’re reading this, you probably rolled your eyes when Seth Troxler suggested that the UK’s underground acid scene needed a kickstart – and that he was the man to provide it. Clearly he hadn’t been to I Love Acid, the semi-regular event Posthuman have been curating since 2007. Running a vinyl-only label of the same name alongside big brother, Balkan Vinyl, the duo have established themselves as an authority on all things acid. In fact, they’re so reliable that both labels have our undivided attention with every release, and it’s no less than the third instalment in the latter’s Mutant City Acid series deserves.
A real shapeshifter, Cardopusher has put his stamp on everything from breakcore to dubstep. These days he’s putting the Roland TB-303 to great use, opening proceedings with a volatile number equipped with strapping kicks and an acid line that brings new meaning to the word muggy. Rolling along beneath the force of weighty drums, the 303s are accompanied by the faintest hint of harmony, provided by spectral pads that descend on the track like a thin layer of dust.
Opening with an ominous drone of eerie synth and an equally disconcerting vocal sample from Desmond Davis’ Clash of the Titans, ‘Amphitheatre Of Joppa’ is the latest creation courtesy of Nigel Rogers aka Perseus Traxx. Letting the serpentine bassline out of its cage to meander through a smattering of claps, hats and shakers, it’s some time before the inevitable acid line finally arrives, all misshapen and twisted.
On the flipside, Posthuman make their contribution with ‘Turn My Tape Up’. From the seismic rumblings at its beginning to the frenetic, warehouse-ready workout it grows into, the track is nothing short of menacing. It’s an unflinching concoction, but exactly what we’ve come to expect from a duo that have almost singlehandedly taken it upon themselves to prop up London’s acid scene. As the EP title suggests, this is dance music for the freaks and Paul Mac‘s closer takes the Mutant City Acid aesthetic to new heights. The busiest of the four, Paul’s off-kilter electronics whir and buzz around the skittering framework, providing a fitting juxtaposition to the buoyancy of his elasticated 303 melodies. Like a boulder rolling downhill, it picks up momentum with every beat until the room is fully submerged in a toxic goo of discordant synth and frantic percussion.
Limited to 303 copies, Mutant City Acid 3 is set to appear on Balkan Vinyl in February.