Label: West Norwood Cassette Library
Release Date: 11/11/2013
It’s been a good ten years since the last release from Plastic Soul. Luckily for us however WNCL017 see’s the collaborative project of Paul Bateman & WNCL frontman Bob Bhamra brought out of retirement to deliver a four track EP of deeply soulful, rough-edged House music.
If asked about the musical direction of the WNCL imprint, ‘I Got It’, the opening track to this latest EP might not act as a bad summation of the label’s overall aesthetic. Raw, Garage-infused drum work, shuffles brazenly between blasts of speaker rattling low-end. Intoxicating washes of synth are introduced at the midpoint, at first showcased individually before combining with the track’s rumbling bass and half-sung vocal-samples in the closing third.
A similarly robust bassline is deployed through following track ‘Holdin’ On’, following a steady, euphoria-inducing build up. Blissful, filtered chords and before a distant vocal outcry heralds the release of tension created by the aforementioned jaunty bassline. The combination of these elements is really rather infectious without being overcomplicated. Despite the fact the EP is rich in melodies and a creative use of sampling, there is still a no-nonsense feel to it - the different components used feel as if they have been picked for specific functions, with no more baggage than is absolutely necessary.
Third track ‘Mint Imperial’ is testament to this. Knife-edge chords reminiscent of those of Wax’s’ 20002’, stabs between a rollicking combination of bass and drums, occasionally extending their sequence further during stammered breakdowns.
Given the other offerings’ peak-time thrills, closing track ‘Body Form’ feels decidedly more settled, laid-back organ echoing between a meandering bass riff and the occasional diced up vocal.
Through its playful, no frills approach to the genre, WNCL017 makes a nice reassertion of the raw, jacking House values that were so prominent in the earlier days of the label. Here’s to hoping this release heralds a rejuvenation of the Plastic Soul project at large.