Jamaica Suk‘s latest release comes on Establishment Records, the offshoot of CDM that’s already delivered stellar works from artists like Ārash Āzādi and Miri Kat. Clockwise offers a series of techno dreamstates that border on the nightmarish. “Two Moons” opens slowly, sparse echoes leading towards fuzzy pads and a cascading drum pattern in 3/4 time. These drums knock against short, repeating half-melodies that reflect a sort of introspective disquiet. The title track follows in the same signature, once more opting for recurrent phrases over fizzling percussion. The effect is singularly hypnotic, leading to a trance-like state, while certain lines add uncertainty. “Vision” is a more traditional outing, twinkling keys and piston-like expressions meeting snarling lower-register melodies. Raucous distortion alongside wide sonic abstraction, pounding techno leading to fevered intensity. A remix from Pulse One takes “Clockwise” into harder territory, isolating its major points and opening it up for darker floors.
If you can single out Blawan’s greatest strength, it’s getting a crowd moving. Earlier productions on Hessle Audio and R&S saw Jamie Roberts etch out a path less trodden in a time where dubstep’s influence had strewn a variety of sub-genres in UK music. Gaining notoriety for his wonky rhythms and anthemic cuts, Blawan developed an addictive signature sound. Five releases deep into his label Ternesc, Wet Will Always Dry appears as Blawan’s first album to date. The result of years of refinement and a brazen display of modular handiwork, the album embodies techno. Largely functional and four-to-the-floor, it comes complete with deep bangers and even features some heavily processed singing from the man himself on tracks “Careless” and “Stell”. Meanwhile, Roberts’ knack for irresistible melodies and percussive grooves make “Nims” a standout piece. As a whole, the record is relatively stripped back compared to previous productions. His style has developed in tandem with his DJ sets of late, focusing on those grooves for an album that ultimately sees Blawan do what he does best: get the people dancing.
Words by Aidan Hanratty and Jena Sivakuma.