Loose Lips

Trax Haven - Council Trax EP

release review

Trax Haven - Council Trax EP

You're doing something wrong if you play 160BPM and higher without any Trax Haven on your USB. The Manchester and London-based crew are quickly gaining momentum as one of the most exciting platforms for footwork, jungle, halftime and everything quick with a hair of freaky, openly embracing any fast and furious styles to their catalogue. Their freewheeling approach is on full display on Council Trax EP, compiling five takes on that sound in vastly different directions from all over the UK.

Yorkshire starts us off with wonky wobbles curtesy of Harka, halftimes boogies contrasting with 808 claps and impatient hi-hats. That's the fun with halftime - you can have a chill bop or 6-step, either works, and Don't Ya Know smoothly slides between those vibes. Chav Juice from Rascal & Lucid is a mental combination of hypnotic hip-hop vox marching over syncopated skips and bass-busting, relentlessly distorted bass assaults just to throw off your feet even more. Leeds via Samurai Breaks sets the tone right away on the follow-up Jus Like That, acting like a bouncy, slightly more chilled out - emphasis on the slightly - boom-clap roller, vocals calling and responding to each other over the beats. POLO LILI has funk dripping off the ceiling through Kill Bill sirens, brass hits and old-school apache breaks on Ironside, giving the EP some 70s/90s jungle flavour. Archetype closes with tension-filled rises and releases on Haunted, complete with ambient breakdowns and smooth pads for respite. He brings modern layers to the more retro aesthetics in previous cuts, hinting at a bright future for a producers' first foray into this type of music.

Council Trax EP is tiring in the best sense. It's pure manic, fun, incessant energy. Stay hydrated when listening and take a break before you put it back on (you will).