It’s easy to forget that Bristolian label UVB-76 have only been around for three years; the traction and reputation they’ve gained over such a short time speaks for itself. Label heads Nick Callaghan and Gabriel Au, AKA Ruffhouse and Gremlinz, bonded over music some seven-or-so years ago, meeting over online messaging much like everyone else around the noughties did. Callaghan was based in Bristol while Au was situated across the pond, in Canada. Together, the pair have always relished putting out cuts that lie in the realms of drum & bass, techno and noise, by way of bass-laden breaks and sub-soaked grooves. Their first release back in 2015 was testament to this. Since then, the label has amassed nine releases, showcasing the sounds of Pessimist, Overlook and a few crew-based collaborations.
Overlook kicks off the imprint’s 2018 with a five-track EP, complete with a remix from leftfield choice Positive Centre. “Spirit Moving Through The Walls” welcomes us to the release in the form of an ambient skit, swilling with harsh frequencies and a guttural voice. Naturally it’s suited to warehouse soundsystem listening, though it equally favours a headphones-on train ride. Each track holds a satisfying depth to its background textures, noise and ambience. Title track “All Of Them Witches” wields this level of detail, fuelled by filthy UK-style basslines, intricate percussion and an inkling of haunting vocals. “Magick” takes an all guns blazing approach and reveals itself to be a stomper from the off. Compared to the rest of the record, “Magick” is in fact quite stripped back and minimal, but when you have such an inescapably addictive bass hook, what more do you need?
“Rituals” is a collaboration with Mono, whose moniker has been seen on UVB-76 before. Traversing a more cinematic route, the pair end up with a magnetic groove that veers in and out of tribal-influenced loops. Positive Centre has proven himself to be quite the craftsman when messing with broken beats and atmospheric techno. His remix of “Travelling Without Moving” is a peaceful, melancholic journey that gradually unfolds, providing great breadth to an already powerful EP.
Overlook – All Of Them Witches is out now and available to buy here.