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I don't know which particular Freq Nasty single I first heard, but I remember thinking that this dude was on some next-level shit. Maybe even next next level. In the few years since, the big blow-up I expected out of him never materialized. It might have something to do with his failure to fit into any established dance subgenre, or maybe with the fact that instead of delivering straight four-on-the-floor thumpers he prefers stuttering, reggae-fied rhythms and beats that sound like someone dropping a drum kit down a flight of stairs.
But his work on Santogold's massive-sounding electro-reggae cut "Creator" might get Freq Nasty out of the strange little corner of the dance music world that he inhabits. And his contribution to the Fabriclive series (out today) should certainly help. Unless it just weirds people out.
The mix opens with howling air-raid sirens and Saul Williams reading his "Not in Our Name," then segues into "Creator." From there on out Fabriclive.42 is a dense mess of wobbling bass, chopped beats, and electronic squiggles, with diversions into Baltimore club, dub, dubstep, lazer bass, and a couple of dance styles exotic enough that they don't even have names yet. It's a noisy mix, with a plethora of squeaking air horns, synths pulling long slides up and down octaves or simply cranking out ray-gun noises, and a few particularly dense passages that sound like train wrecks before you realize that what you're actually hearing are crazily complex polyrhythms. It inhabits a completely different planet than the smooth progressive-house mixes you hear in megaclubs, and even the output of the relatively raucous blog-house scene seem toothless in comparison. Dude pretty much already owns 2009, and I wouldn't be surprised if he's already eyeing 2010 through 2013 as well.