With regular air play on Rinse FM from artists such as Swamp81’s Lamont and forever mind bending UK pioneer Mumdance, Yilan is a producer with a promising and refreshing take on producing steppy bass music. Below is a review of the inaugural release on Listening Sessions, his ‘Contortion/Exoskeleton’ EP (his latest).
‘Contortion’ begins with filtered percussion between relatively sparse kicks that sound like someone hitting a table tennis bat on a plastic pipe. In simplistic terms, this is a very standard club track which brings to mind a slow descent into madness or at least a very deep geological chasm. Acceptable as a DJ tool but as a stand-alone track it feels too sparse. One can obviously argue that this type of ‘club’ track is supposed to be, but this (and yes I did hesitate in making this as a comparison) is quite a far cry from one of those Night Slugs classics.
‘Exoskeleton’ is instantly more interesting, although a similarly sparse layout of the kick drum reiterates that the previous track was definitely intentionally simplistic - the rhythmic structure here rolls far more pleasurably. Although having said that, the inclusion of a short, moist sounding acid line has me positively biased. It’s the perfect blend of sub-aqua electro and the aforementioned style of ‘club’ track. What’s particularly ear catching is the squiggly little warping synth that comes in just after the three and a half minute mark. Previous to that, it’s the echoing percussion every couple of bars, sounding like someone whacking a metal pole in a ship’s hold, that really gets my anchor hard.
Track three is Wooda’s ‘Endoskeleton Remix’ of ‘Exoskeleton’. It's very simple and very effective. The combination of an eerie, fading sample and a sped up and looped section of the acid line make for what is the most memorable track on this EP. Although, the combination of the eerie, fading sample and the crashing claps does once again have strong echoes of that type of ‘club’ track that’s arguably become tired in recent years.
The EP ends with Krytikal’s remix of ‘Contortion’. Outdated trap and dubstep style tendencies combined with a horrible amount of echo make for what isn’t actually a badly produced remix. For me, the original just wasn’t memorable enough to warrant a remix request.
Although excited at the prospect of these tracks being played through a large sound system (which I’m sure is the preferred reading of the producer), I can’t help but wonder whether these tracks would make me move when either unmixed or when heard in a more intimate setting. I look forward to finding out!
Released September 4, 2017