While at the moment new labels seem to be popping up left, right, and centre, quite a few of them will undoubtedly be slipping through our pretty wide-cast musical net. Not Hadal, however. When one of the Hessle Audio boys announces something new, we here at the Truants mansion sit with our ears pricked and our headphones at the ready, and Kevin McAuley’s new project is no exception. We’ve slept on Viaduct, the new 12″ from the man himself, but it’s fair to say there’s no time frame on posting beautifully produced work. Viaduct is the first release on the new label Hadal, and sees Kevin move from song-based music, to more impactful dancefloor tunes. For our money, Pangaea is the most underrated member of the Hessle Audio triumvirate, perhaps unfairly drawing less attention than his fellow producing powerhouses but nonetheless quietly crafting; consistently releasing probably the most inspired UK underground music. Having undergone an education in dance music in the South West England when growing up, it wasn’t until 2005 whilst studying in Leeds that McAuley dived into a city that embraced dupstep, co-founding a night called Ruffage, and meeting David Kennedy and Ben Thomson, aka Pearson Sound and Ben UFO. From there, the rest is history, we’re glad Pangaea is once again capturing traits from Hardcore and Jungle, and amalgamating them into what could be described as a new brand of throaty UK Techno.
Stream: Pangaea – Viaduct EP (Hadal)
Using Mala as an example, McAuley talks about impactful music, saying “it has to sound good. It’s all well and good having these ideas but it needs to sound good on a system. If you’re in a club situation, you want something that’s going to hit you, you want to feel it”. Maybe somewhat unknowingly Pangaea talks about his own music; as Viaduct certainly shows elements of something that can hit you, that you can feel. The EP starts with the title tract “Viaduct”, a track containing intricate percussion, and slithering synths that are in no hurry to build, Pangaea shows his audience that he has a capacity for patience ,waiting to create an about-turn so that the tune becomes grimier, more threatening. The minimal melodic element, radiating a type of nostalgia buried in a facade of warmth, makes the transition in this hit you all the more. “Mission Creep“, sandwiched right in the middle of the EP, is also well fitting for a club situation with its plethora of kicks and snares. The vocal snippets and hi-hats are abrasive but they’re so well contained and gloriously detailed that there is no doubt in your mind Pangaea is about to unleash something great in the form of the next Track. McAuley admits that banging music is much more of a challenge for him than Ambient, experimental music, and that he’s gone into this latest record with more awareness that he’d like to hit a bit harder. That he does, especially with the final track on the EP, “Razz“. Razz is erratic from the offset, seemingly unpredictable in its composition, but it’s this wild nature coupled with a rhythm that sounds immaculately polished that means it steals the show. After Release, Pangaea’s double EP from last year, Viaduct wholly embraces sections that left his last EP leaving audiences wanting more. It focuses less on structural intricacy and more on vibes that you don’t just hear over a sound system, but that you feel, and actually experience.
Pangaea’s Viaduct EP is out now on Hadal, and you can order the 12″ or download it here.