Release Date: 02/12/2013
London based label Hypercolour have always been an imprint possible to consider trustworthy when it comes to providing House music that falls towards the more unconventional end of the genre’s spectrum. With fellow Londoner Bob Bhamra aka West Norwood Cassette Library delivering on this front himself for a number of years, it seemed only a matter of time before the two forces joined together as they do here, with the release of the double-vinyl pack, ‘8-Track Cartridge’.
Whilst the release might be considered House within general parameters, the genre’s lineage of Funk, Soul & Disco has a definite stamp on the record, combined with Bhamra’s nifty use of drum breaks. This ranges from the downtempo funk of ‘Bodyrock’, to the electro-tinged ‘Roots’ - a track calling to mind Manix’s offerings to the early UK Hardcore scene, with its use of thunderous double-speed drum loops.
There is a raw quality to the double EP, but in a way that feels natural, and as a bi-product of the Bhamra’s sound, rather than created in the faux-hardware style currently popular. Take the frantic, squelching ‘Bubble’ for example, a buoyant acid riff fizzles between roughly chopped breaks and rolling toms, with the occasional James Brown vocal outcry interspersed.
The aforementioned ‘rawness’ of the release may come from the fact it also has a live feel to it, opening track ‘Acid Jazz’ making a good example of this with its choppy drums and disjointed funk guitar. Following track ‘We Have To Live In The Future’ is equally dynamic, it’s nosediving bass-riff driving forward filtered vocals and shuffling drums.
These days House music is rarely this energetic, diverse, or willing to inject a sense of humour into proceedings - Bhamra’s 8-Track Cartridge managing not to take itself too seriously, without doing so at the expense of the release’s quality. It also manages to meld an assortment of different influences in a seamlessly natural fashion, providing a welcome reminder of House’s many musical crossovers.