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Monday, 16 May 2011

SubVersion Stop 121: Equinox / Nebula - SA 015 / 005 EP

'Choppage' & 'Jungle' subsumed Paradox's 'drumfunk' phrase for breakbeat Drum & Bass - towards meltdown, 2008-2010. Whereby Subtle Audio's credit is noble semicolon. Its Vol. II CD compilation received 4/5 and 8/10 ratings from RA and I-DJ in January; Mixmag upping the ante with a 9. This followed reception through Mary Anne Hobbs; an "original, exciting, inventive" soundbite on Simon Reynolds' Blissblog in 2007; Aphex Twin licensing Macc and dgoHn's "Some Shit Saaink" to Rephlex in 2010. These return releases see 90s percussive diablo Equinox, and syncopation star Nebula share kindred spirit with their sYncOpathic Recordings contributions, a netlabel run by Innsbruck's Sub, also in the Subtle Audio roster, 2007 respectively.

Marlon Equinox never sold out. Here he stands, over 15 years on, mangling his breaks into a shopping trolley to make Dale Winton turn maroon. Editing drums through analogue originally, DJing parties each month since his 80s upbringing, refusing to deny euphoric catharsis that he reins in perfectly on "Meecha" and "Your Love's So Cold". A Planet Mu audience-friendly two-tracker with an ingrained historical pathology to the Old School - those "ancient ways". A 1, 2, 3, hop skip jump. So turns beat, pad, sample. Through the years of Jungle Tekno, Hardcore and pre-1998 D&B, more publically raw, emotional, non-tainted vocals. Sometimes they're chipmunked like Bay B Kane, at others they're pizza processed: Foul Play, Steve C and Monita, Bizzy B. With the latter by Equinox, "So many people out here that make so many different styles of music / This music is something that they feel", perhaps a title referencing-metaphor for sad disruption. The pure 90s rave energy, an abstinence now splattering the walls with sweat, instead of getting vibed up inside as vibed gets.

Where new classes got stale, is when taking on too much past, or too little knowledge of roots, 3 matters: progress, love, partnership, invert themselves to squalor. This remains true of 90s heroes - it's easy to revert to the systematic benchmark - presets, toytown beats - if it saves you time. Not so of Nebula with "Astral Soul", where we're given a 35 minute pass to Jungle House Paradiso, thankfully without dodgy fish. There's such a fluidity to these five works, that they surpass the highs I obtained from Marlon's "Acid Rain" EP on Mike Paradinas' label. "Escapism", pick of the bunch, has strings streaming out a deadly buzz from the amygdala complex. "Hidden Oasis" hereafter, moistly slides back, forth, constant suspension and propulsion. They say astronomy is law of the stars, so what does Nebula think? From EDJ: "I thought I knew a lot about D&B until I met Equinox, then the history lesson really began." If that's the case chaps, Plato's on the other end of the line. He says he wants your ascendancy.


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