Batch 0001 sees the return of SM-LL signee, Durusin, and an exciting new installation in their nascent Batch series. R.E.C’s Batch 0000 was hyper-restrained with it’s 1-track-4-speed format, but this latest release is generous with its individual tracks with a total of 5 available for the digital edition. What makes the Batch series different from the previous Default series is the introduction of vinyl format to the label roster. Indeed, the clear vinyl of the Batch series needs to be seen to be believed. The clear grooves and pristine glimmer of the object itself makes it seem as if it were cut to crystal rather than vinyl. In the words of label boss Martin Thompson, “there’s nothing better than seeing your world through clear vinyl”.
Followers of SM-LL will recognise Durusin from Default 0001, one of the first releases to come out of the label. Here, Durusin brought geometric song structures and stirring simplicity to dub techno. Last year, we also saw a more abstracted dimension to his sound on the Venus EP for An Epic. Batch 0001 sees something of a marriage between these two styles, attempting to expand the borders of dub as far as they can stretch.
Opening with ‘Ferusks’, for example, one can hear the amplified tape hiss of analogue hardware. Where most producers would seek to erase this extrinsic mechanical rumble, Durusin embraces it as its own musical device. However, it’s ’Wazzld’ that highlights the imaginative scope of the release. The track itself is compelling, but it’s hard to pinpoint why. There are off-beat stabs of robotic vocoder and what comprises the rest of the piece is crunched-out noises and super-dry sine waves. What then, gives this track its energy? Jazz Pianist Vijay Iyer once wrote that music with groove can “sustain interest or attention for long stretches of time to an acculturated listener, even if ‘nothing is happening’ on the musical surface”. Dub like that of Batch 0001 is a perfect example; even with the scarcest musical material, this could never be described as static.