Reviews: Debut EPs from Heblank & Housetone

With the throngs of self-important, untalented DIY producers occupying the channels of music distribution these days, it’s really refreshing to hear music from promising new artists that actually back up their promotional claims. Such is the case with Fullfridge Music, a fledgling imprint out of Grenoble, France. They recently sent us the first releases from their catalog – Housetone’s Abysmal Yellow Vol. 1 and Heblank’s Anon Ftwrk – comprising alarmingly good debut EPs from two young producers that you should definitely keep an eye on. On Housetone’s “The Gazing-Back Din,” tranquil pads slowly emerge from the shadows, beckoned by reverb-laden clicks and snaps assembled in a vaguely footwork-referencing pattern. A crisp, bottom-heavy rhythm breaks the haziness of the intro, and it’s complemented by spacey, buoyant synth riffs and a gritty bassline that skips through an unexpected (yet remarkably enjoyable) note progression. Meanwhile, on “The Noise of Looking Down,” intricate drum programming a la Jay Weed pairs up with rich, dynamic synth work and feel-good samples of a woman laughing to create a nostalgic listening experience tailor made for a sunny afternoon.

HOUSETONE – Abysmal Yellow Vol1 (FRIDG001) by Fullfridge Music

Heblank’s Anon Ftwrk EP, the second release from Fullfridge Music, kicks off with “Concomitant,” a frenetic track that (unsurprisingly, given the title of the EP) draws from the pool of footwork production techniques that are popular with so many big artists right now. The delicately-sliced vocal samples make a great counterpoint for the cinematic synth strings in the background, and the jittery, hyperactive percussion panning drives the energy level through the roof. “Concurant” is undoubtedly more literal in its interpretation of juke, with multiple layers of syncopations joining forces in a tight and exact framework of percussive elements. The track takes a left turn around the 3-minute mark, with these driving rhythms giving way to airy, organic synth drones that rise and fall throughout the outro. Also included with the EP is Crypt’s reworking of “Concomitant,” which takes the track in a fresh direction but doesn’t quite top the charm of the original.

HEBLANK – Anon Ftwrk (FRIDG002) by Fullfridge Music


Sam Billetdeaux

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