Recommended: MssingNo – MssingNo EP

You know a release has really resonated with you when it dominates your listening time disproportionately; receiving a battering on loop for days-on-end despite all the other music you should probably be discovering, writing about or whatever. You know its special when it garners a track ID request from your usually resolutely disinterested girlfriend for the first time in months, and its ability to incite emotional breakdowns is noted all over Twitter (a little tongue-in-cheek of course but you get the picture). MssingNo’s self-titled debut EP is one of those ones, an emotionally-charged rollercoaster of swooning highs and deep-rooted lows that tugs on the heart strings with reckless abandon, whilst retaining the edge, bite and rhythm to work within club sets. The beats themselves bang hard in places, but where these tracks really come through and hit the spot is with their disarming harmonies; synth-rich blankets of sound interwoven beautifully with sparkling cascades of icy melody, wandering vocal loops and swaying basslines assembled with near-classical music levels of composition. The ear and musical aptitude required to build melodies with such a powerful emotive effect is no doubt an innate talent, and one that he has in abundance. And whilst these skewed R&B-come-grime tracks aren’t anything particularly new or ground-breaking on paper, MssingNo quite simply does it better, smashing most other efforts out of the park and carving a sound as rare as the Pokemon glitch he is named after.

Stream: MssingNo – XE2 (Goon Club Allstars)

The Londoner first emerged on our radar when a few head-turning cuts dropped earlier this year, with his technicoloured, bass-driven anthem, “D&C“, a highlight from I Hate Fun’s free compilation and his refix of “Brandy – Right Here” getting hammered by everyone from Blackdown to Faze Miyake. He is by no means limited to these rapturously sensual beats however and can blacken the mood in an instant, as he did when he transformed The Verve’s “The Drugs Don’t Work” into a haunting, Requiem For A Dream-deep track with CAS. It’s in this mould that the EP’s darkest moment comes, with “124th” dominated by sinister undertones and dome-spinning paranoia, propelled by fractious grime drum patterns over unfettered sub-bass toughness.

Stream: MssingNo – 124th (Goon Club Allstars)

Goon Club Allstars’ first release featured a couple of Wiley refixes from Samename and Moleskin which was, in effect, a solid white label that helped mark them on the map. Signing MssingNo’s debut record though feels like a masterstroke and much more of a statement of creative direction moving forward. The EP’s heart-fluttering high point comes with XE2, and almost like the complete antithesis in mood to “124th”, it crams a pitched-up-beyond-recognition R.Kelly and swirls of absurdly lush sonics into 5:28 minutes of pure, unadulterated elation. The above rambles on about the vividness of MssingNo’s melodic constructions, and that is in full mesmeric effect on “XE2”; straight synthesised wizardry that utterly captivates well before the first hats and snares creep in at the halfway point. There’s no let-up either, imagine XE3‘s super-bright waves of neon on a massive rig flooding your eardrums, or “Skeezers'” swinging tropical lilt that is damn near impossible not to move to, accented by the most playful of Rihanna excerpts. If these are the levels he has set on his first full release then lord knows what is in store for us next. Judging by this EP, his recent production mix and collabs/ remixes with (another equally exciting producer) Plata; his future is looking bright.

The MssingNo EP will be available via Goon Club Allstars from Monday 18th of November.

Oli Grant