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Humanleft/Benjamin Damage – 50 Weapons #005 review

The fifth release from Modeselektor’s flourishing 50 Weapons label-project is something rather special indeed. They’ve recruited Bordeaux bass-hound Humanleft and former Venom and Damage producer Benjamin Damage to drop these two exclusive tunes, and they’re both well worth getting excited about.

Offering a European perspective on crunky beats mixed with kaleidoscopic synth work has become Humanleft’s (aka Remy Teruel) strong suit, with some excellent releases on Tigerbeat6 already under his belt. On “Arnaud and Bernard” however, the influence of Modeselektor really shines through with some incredible bubble ‘n’ gurgle synthwork plastered throughout the track. Riding a beat that’s both crunky and UK funky, the tropical-step drums are balanced thrillingly by the pace of the arpeggio synths, which rise in octaves until a beautifully arranged breakdown. It’s a truly warm and well-constructed slab of techy-funk goodness will prove a devastating battle weapon for DJs.

Previously of Venom and Damage, who’ve rocked London’s booty bass scene for all it’s worth and dropped gems on Doc Daneeka’s Ten Thousand Yen label (anyone who heard Mdslktr-favourite”Deeper” from this year will know what’s up), Benjamin Damage goes on a solo excursion with the epic “Zeppelin”. Going heavier on a funky tip, snares and rounded sub kicks dominate giving it that real kwaito skank. A softly-building set of distressed chords are smothered over the top and filtered subtly up and down to keep you hooked for the entirety. The breakdowns reveal just how pitch-perfect those drums are, while the bass is given plenty of room to keep your ass shaking. It’s yet another marvel, and like “Arnaud & Bernard”, an instrumental that’s sure to make its way into a variety of DJ sets very quickly. So far, 50 Weapons hasn’t failed to release anything other than sheer gold – this is no exception.

Oliver Keens