Review: Presk – and Cut/Mold

Earlier this year we introduced you to Presk (aka Pieter Willems), a producer from Amsterdam who has generated some serious hype in the year and a half that he’s been making tunes under this moniker. Willems delivered one hell of a Truancy Volume for us that featured some drool-worthy samples of his forthcoming releases, including one on Fourth Wave and another on Doc Daneeka’s prolific Ten Thousand Yen imprint. The first of these releases to be let out of its cage, a lean but stellar two-tracker featuring “and Cut” and “Mold,” marks the inaugural release for Fourth Wave, a new sub-label of the consistently on-point Ramp Recordings. After listening to these cuts all the way through, we can say without hesitation that Presk should be on the center of your radar for up and coming artists throughout the rest of the year.

During our interview with him, Presk told us that he prefers exploring how grooves can evolve throughout the course of a track instead of locking into a repeated groove, and this predilection for natural evolution comes across strongly on A-side “and Cut.” Although it features a fairly minimal sonic palette – the synth stabs and chopped vocal sample remain mostly in their original form for the entirety of the track – “and Cut” sounds dynamic and human in a subtle way that’s hard to pin down if you don’t focus on it. It sounds like Willems breathes life into the track’s various elements and then stands back, allowing them to align themselves into an ordered structure before tearing them apart and starting the process over again. Channeling garage with its skittery percussion syncopations, footwork with the hyperactively-repeated vocal sample, and techno with its melancholy synth squelches, “and Cut” strikes a beautiful harmony between influences without sounding indebted to any of them thanks to Willems’ artful manipulation of the track’s framework.

On “Mold,” Presk follows this organic process of allowing the track to grow from the ground up under its own volition. A restrained garage shuffle opens the track, accompanied by similarly held-back vocal fragments (including what has to be a sample from Daft Punk’s “Technologic”), dark bass pulses, and shimmery, weightless stabs that hover in the background. After the bottom-end falls out for a few bars, a dense, detuned synth figure materializes from the depths and drags the track down a solemn and swampy path. “Mold” transforms into a hypnotic late night 2-stepper after the 2 minute mark, though, with more energetic, fleshed-out rhythms that will you have you doing some tidy skanking even if it’s by yourself in front of a dim computer screen. This EP is a top-notch offering from a buzzworthy producer, so give the preview clips a listen and be sure to cop it from your favorite retailer when it comes out.

4TH001 / PRESK by Fourth Wave

Presk – and Cut/Mold (Fourth Wave/Ramp Recordings) out June 20th.

Sam Billetdeaux