Recommended: Visionist – M / Secrets

One of last year’s most notable developments was the continued emergence of a wave of new producers able channelling the spirit of early grime and combine it with an astute sensibility for today’s listeners. Grime’s new school excited us a great deal; so much so that we even dedicated a new mix series to championing its key figures. A man often viewed as part of this new wave is Louis Carnell – better known to most as Visionist. 2013 was a busy year for the London based producer, seeing the release of singles on Berlin’s Leisure System and New York’s Lit City Trax. All this in addition to featuring on This Is How We Roll – the Keysound Recordings compilation which in many ways served as a teaser for what would come later in the year.

Visionist’s latest effort, on Ramp Recordings, nods more strongly towards a techno structure than much of his previous work. Opener “M” has been a mainstay at Truants HQ since we heard Pearson Sound play it on the Hessle Audio Rinse show way back in February. It carries an ominous vibe throughout – whether it stems from its menacing bassline, deft synth work or the re-pitched vocals Visionist uses to masterfully haunting effect. On the flip “Secrets” is awash with vinyl crackle and raspy vocal cuts. It’s perhaps the more floor focused effort of the two and the rolling swing of its moody bassline no doubt has the ability to do serious damage in the club. The single not only caps a strong year for Visionist but – having eschewed the 8-bar structure of some of his past work – offers a glimpse at what his output may bring us in 2014.

Matt Gibney