3024 is one of those prolific labels that you could file under “needs no introduction.” But since we’re not in the business of condescension or alienation, let me speedily touch on all the important points. Straight from the label’s website, “3024 is a Rotterdam zip code, and also an independent record label founded in 2007 by long time friends Martyn & Erosie.” In the short four years of its existence, 3024 has acted as an incubator for Martyn’s personal career as well as temporary residence for names such as 2562, Altered Natives, and, most recently, Addison Groove and Julio Bashmore. Basically, the 3024 pedigree guarantees that every release is an essential listen.
If this claim sounds at all lofty, do yourself a favor and listen to the previews of Convexations, the new EP from Jon Convex slated for a June 13th release date. Convex (born Damon Kirkham) is better known for his work as half of production duo Instra:mental, whose debut full-length Resolution 653 on NonPlus+ is one of the early front-runners for album of the year. Referencing genres as diverse as dubstep, electro, drum & bass, and techno, the duo received critical acclaim from esteemed sources like Resident Advisor, Fact Mag, and XLR8R. And with Boddika garnering massive attention with a string of white-hot solo releases this year, it’s great to see that Kirkham is following suit and proving that his production chops are at least on par with his partner’s.
One of the first things you’ll notice about Convexations is how profoundly dark and grimy each of the three tracks is – euphoric is just about the last word I’d use to describe Convex’s soundscapes. Murky basslines boil over and give off thick, metallic vapors that leave a heavy varnish on nearly all of the synth sounds throughout the release. The pads that emerge throughout the title track sound like some mutant life form that spawned in a radioactive swamp from a 60’s B-movie. Elsewhere, on standout track “Order Into Chaos,” grimy acid blips ooze through the cracks of a gutter-house bass line that features some of the best filter and resonance automation I’ve heard in a long time. Don’t let these descriptions fool you into thinking this isn’t explicitly a dancefloor release, though – all of the tracks on Convexations have their sights set squarely on the making bodies move. Rugged, frenetic percussion cuts cleanly through the sludge, forming hypnotic grooves that would do serious peak-time damage. Drawing equal inspiration from Detroit techno and Chicago house, Convex’s machine gun claps and hi hats are sure to please any fans of DJ Stingray or Unknown to the Unknown. Another spot-on aspect of this release is the captivating way that Convex treats vocal samples, dynamically and drastically removing them from their original context. While countless producers these days mask the source of their samples with clever splicing and multiple generations of effects, few come close to the meticulous vocal processing on Convexations. For evidence of this look no further than “Falling Again,” which finds Convex turning an indecipherable vocal snippet into a stuttering percussive element throughout the track as well as a mind-bending effects experiment in the outro. Even without any remixes, this short-but-sweet release upholds the 3024 standard and is a must-hear for anyone.
Jon Convex – Convexations (3024) out June 13th