Blawan – Under Belly
Image: XL Recordings
Blawan, AKA Jamie Roberts, is sort of renowned for his disparate, somewhat skeletal modular synth techno. Why they hide their bodies under my garage? Exemplifies this sort of approach, with crunched out beats and loops characterising his sound with a particular kind of analogous decay. In recent times, his music has become increasingly more propulsive. Last year’s Make A Goose is particularly acrid, with the pounding industrial techno of My Guide To Dancing On Carpet or the really hectic way he makes his machines literally speak on the title track and Spooky Fingers. Leaving us hanging in this heightened state, it’s no surprise then that Under Belly is the first single and taste of his upcoming debut on XL Recordings, has been making significant waves online since its release. Recalling his earlier work in the vein of Garage, Under Belly is less Berghain and more Tresor, squelching and rumbling with a distinctly groovy gait and swaths of reverb. There’s a tilt to the sounds produced by Blawan’s machines here; a sort of alien vaudevillian jaunt that slips and slides like some sort of tap dancing demon whose moan warps into the track’s mid-section. But it’s the funk-informed cadence to Under Belly that makes its particularly groove inducing, and this wonkiness points to an EP that may see Blawan at his most playful in recent memory. Download it here, and listen below.