Batu – I Own Your Energy
Timedance, the label run by Bristol producer Batu, has become synonymous with innovation. The releases here are challenging in the way that they explore and subvert the trends of the Bristol underground, often arriving at uniquely distinct formulations of the sound of the club. Much of this is due to Batu himself. His releases have set the standard; finding new methods of shaping the energy in the room without falling into any specific genre tropes. It makes his music truly distinct; not quite one thing or the other, but a sequencing of ideas in a way that only Batu could possibly imagine. This approach increasingly has him poised to change the direction of UK dance music, and the innovation continues to manifest on his latest EP for Timedance, I Own Your Energy.
As the EP’s title suggests, there’s a domineering quality to the music. In fact, I Own Your Energy is Batu’s hardest hitting release to date, full of pounding kicks and insidious industrial noise. It commands you to follow, and as ambiguous as it seems at times, Batu has a penchant for propelling your body to move to the beat of his own drum. The title track infiltrates with its magnitude; pounding bass kicks, screeching phrases of electronic noise and an orbiting bassline that lurks beneath. Inner Space sequences a series of whooshes and kicks in rapid fire succession as an industrial drone rises in tension. Then it dissipates into space, alien machine sounds bouncing around in the vastness before the beat re-enters in a supercharged new form. Even more amorphous is Go Deeper, on which a half-time kick flutters as the skeleton for the actual percussion which is really the bass. It’s a clear cut example of Batu’s ability to create patterns from the indistinct, using slipperiness as structure.
The experience of his music is like realising you’re on a rollercoaster mid-ride, when really you thought you’d gotten onto the ferris wheel. It sweeps you up, but once you’re in tune with Batu’s frequency the brilliance is impossible to deny. For Batu, the motifs of bass music, techno and breaks are like Lego blocks; there are endless possibilities and the magic lies in how he sees the pieces come together. In this sense, what he creates are really more works of sound design than production. It’s unexpected and disarming, but undeniably propulsive.
Listen to the title track from I Own Your Energy below.