Ben Micklewright is one of those guys with an expansive back-catalogue, but who has somehow flown under most people’s radar. As BLM, the bulk of his music has appeared on Fear Of Flying although he’s also worked with Tsuba Records and Jus-Ed’s Underground Quality. There’s a definite classic edge to his music and you’d be right in saying he sticks to what he knows – deep, minimal grooves. His “Sudden Death” EP, which comes to us courtesy of London’s party-cum-label Secretsundaze, doesn’t deviate too much from his established path, however he does present it through a modern lens.
Honestly, when listening to most straightforward, 4/4 house records we can tell within 30-seconds whether it’s a keeper. That’s not to say this is always the case, but with this particular record we knew the grooves were going to be right up our alley. “Sudden Death” has a sturdy kick that obviously cuts through the mix – we wouldn’t be against a DJ leaving the bass up and smashing the previous record’s preferably porous kick underneath it while mixing. Nothing on the track is too flashy instead everything is simply functional. What’s really going to burn this one into your head is the way the washed out melody dominates the bulk of the seven-minutes, despite being so low in comparison to the other elements. Most quality tracks come down to three things – kicks, melody, and bass – and this checks all three in the simplest fashion.
In our books “Chemistry” will be remembered for its low-end wizardry. The bassline, which he waste no time in introducing, is characterized by stereo movement. It really works with the chords giving off a big room’esque vibe. Our only real gripes with the track are the acid line added around the halfway point and how repetitive the vocal: “chemistry” gets after a few minutes. We have no doubt that within the context of a dancefloor it makes sense though. With a lot records you can tell when the B-side is just sort of thrown together to finish the package, but “Brick” is a solid tune that many artists would have no problem using as the title track. From the beginning there’s a super playful air to it. The bassline is light and rides over the top of an elastic kick. Plus, the occasional addition of vocal samples adds to the atmosphere. It’s the sort of laidback track that every DJ turns to when the glorious outdoor parties and festivals return. If it wasn’t obvious by now we’re fans of BLM’s latest record and hope to hear more from him this year. Secretsundaze has also proven itself to not only be an amazing party, but a record label in top form.
Stream: BLM – Sudden Death (Secretsundaze)
BLM’s Sudden Death is available now on Secretsundaze.