Quivver makes his stunning debut on Selador with two new tracks, while D-Nox & Beckers and Habischman bring the heat on remix duties.
The title track doesn’t waste any time, immediately introducing crisp percussion and the booming, reverberating vocal samples that punctuate the track, and drawing the listener in with a punchy bassline, haunting woodwind, and Quivver’s plaintive vocals. That bassline is soon joined by a more menacing, growling bass part, and the effect is stunning. ‘Menace’: that’s just the right word, since the push-pull effect of the twin basslines make it impossible not to be reminded of Kastis Torrau’s track of the same name, which was one of the top 10 tracks of 2014 for me. A fluttering bell hook gives the track a final, understated melodic touch, though the emotional punch is largely delivered by the woodwind.
‘Everything Remains the Same’ is all about the attitude: if it was a wallet, it would belong to Jules Winnfield. In terms of sound and feel, it reminds me of Quivver’s own ‘Boom Boom’ from 2010, since it boasts a similar combination of hard-hitting techno, topped off with cool vocal samples and occasional chiming melodies. But the ideas and execution are even stronger here than on that earlier track. At the core of the track lies the muscular bassline, and Quivver’s favourite trick here is to throw a wave of noise at the listener at crucial moments, before stripping things right back to reveal that bassline pulsing away. It’s exciting each time it happens, though it’s the first time that really sticks in my mind. If something this nasty can be beautiful, then this is a thing of beauty.
D-Nox & Beckers turn in a real slow-burner of a remix of ‘Wait for You’, but when it finally burns it really burns. Classic percussion loops, a low-key chugging bassline, and fierce but hypnotic synths are the foundation here for a spooky interpretation, with Quivver’s original bell sounds twisted into a skeletal rattle, his vocals chopped to pieces, and eastern-flavoured melodies creeping in periodically. The build up here largely falls on the hi-hats, and D-Nox & Beckers hold the handclap back until the breakdown, finally letting the track fly as the kick-drum reasserts itself, and we’re treated to some further thrilling hi-hat work and intense, sinister bass tones.
Last up, Habischman’s remix sees bounding, heavy kicks and a rumbling bassline in the driving seat, while Quivver’s melodic ideas are complemented with brassy swells, and a more minimalist take on his growling bassline adds texture and tension to the breakdowns. I didn’t like Habischman’s interpretation as much as the other two versions of the track on offer here, though it does have a bit more clout that Quivver’s original while bringing some new ideas to the table.
This is Selador’s finest release since ‘One Day We’ll All Be Happy’, and I say that with a lot a love for lots of their releases since then. I recently described Quivver’s last EP on Bedrock as some of his best material in recent times; this is even better.