Release Date: 27/05/13
Manchester based outfit Akkord have developed something of a cult following, a somewhat impressive feat given the shadowy collective are currently only two releases deep. Further testament to their success is that their third comes via the recently established label arm of Fabric nightclub, Houndstooth.
The Navigate EP sees Akkord filling in the blanks between Dubstep, D&B & Techno. Whilst on paper this may sound like a potentially chaotic mix, under the guidance of Akkord’s rather strict minimalist tendencies the combination begins to make a lot of sense. The way in which they pull off this mix is pretty unique, and I think it’d be fair to say they’ve carved out a solid niche for themselves.
Title track ‘Navigate’ makes for a strong opening - short, twitchy hats ride over glitching percussion and swelling bass work. The track’s shuffling rhythmic elements are carried off with merciless precision, assorted shakers and foley hits join with heavily processed vocals snippets and stifling atmospherics.
The same tough sonic palette is carried over into ‘Compound’, although the track moves into more tribal territories, and is generally more affront than the EPs lurching opener. An unmistakably D&B inspired bass-line occasionally punctuates the tracks dense atmosphere and heavyweight grooves.
‘Destruction’ on the other hand takes its biggest cues from DMZ era dubstep, deep, menacing subs rumbling underneath aqueous textures and cumbersome swung rhythms.
A welcome reprieve from Akkord’s unrelenting darkened tones is offered by the closer however, ‘Title Sequence’ takes loosened dub grooves and introspective synth drones, underpinning soothing vocal samples.