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Pangaea – Inna Daze review

Now if there’s a name that is on pretty much every bass music fan’s lips at the moment, it’s that of Hessle Audio. Home to the ineffable Ramadanman (now primarily known as Pearson Sound), who heads up the label, alongside Ben UFO and Pangaea himself, the imprint cemented its reputation as one of the leading lights in UK bass music throughout 2010 and continues to do so in 2011. Pangaea, otherwise known as Kevin McAuley, clearly leads by example, masterfully blending dubstep, house, techno, dark electronica and all shades of bass music to widespread critical acclaim. We’ve seen his production prowess clearly displayed in his previous releases; take Bear Witness, his release on Scuba’s Hotflush in 2008, for example, or perhaps his self-titled EP of 2010. Here, however, Pangaea takes a trip down the 130bpm road and boy, is it a path worth following.

“Inna Daze”, to us at least, immediately conjures images of reggae-laced jungle riddims, and there is a slight hint of that in the echoing SFX, hollow drum kicks and flummoxing chirrups of the intro. The tribal pattering, anguished yelps and distant wailing atmospheric tones send you deep into another head space. It’s deep, brooding, rather meditative stuff with the occasional rave horn embellishment and ticking beats keeping things firmly on the dancefloor for the seven minute duration. Over on the flip, Pangaea tunes in to an altogether different vibe in “Won’t Hurt”. A tense intro (slightly reminiscent of early Mala material) is filled with primeval humming and speaker-shattering sub bass. After a full two minutes, slightly discordant, strained strings herald a progression into a more explorative passage before it falls back into the bass heavy section, rumbling away beautifully. This is a sterling release from Pangaea which once again affirms his considerable credentials as a producer.

Belinda Rowse