Dub meets UK bass on this intoxicating EP.
K-Lone – Dance Of The Vampires
“Dance Of The Vampires,” the A-side of K-Lone’s latest EP, surfaced earlier this month, but it could have come out a decade ago. Its dubwise contours echo the post-dubstep-adjacent sound of the early ’10s, when FWD-reared producers looked to house and techno’s slower tempos for guidance. But in this instance, it tracks a phenomenon where the reverse is happening—that is, producers trying to break free from familiar four-to-the-floor ideas, some of whom search UK club music’s heritage for creative solutions. Even casual listeners will have noticed, for example, the resurgence of breakbeats in house and techno. As Chal Ravens recently noted in the Wire, this desire to escape samey rhythms extends to the infiltration of dembow, IDM, footwork, gqom and other irregular patterns and tempos in productions and DJ sets.
So how does Dance Of The Vampires, which draws heavily from dub, figure into all that? In recent years, a handful of tastemaking artists and labels have reintroduced dub to the dance floor, a style that’s inspired so much UK club music. Put another way, dub is a natural space to explore for those who are tracing back the way through the hardcore continuum.
On Dance Of The Vampires, K-Lone turns the atmospheric dub abstractions of his 2017 EP In The Dust into something more DJ friendly—these tunes are perfect for the warm-up, the afters, or both. “Dance Of The Vampires” is an ethereal float of dub sirens, smoked-out ambience and dislocated chat from MCs, singers and, possibly, a cloakroom queue. “Sleepwalker,” a kind of dub techno lullaby, may be even better. Like “Dance Of The Vampires,” the B-side ticks along via K-Lone’s fragile percussion, in this case glass-bottle rides and matchsticky hi-hats. Small effects, like the radio-dial squalls, enhance “Sleepwalker”‘s filigree feel. But even as the music invites you to admire these details, you’re just as likely to drift off in its cloudy, intoxicating chords.