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Spam Chop – Cuckup review

As one of the hardest working men in the Nottingham music scene, Spam Chop has been doggedly plying his trade since before dubstep found itself a comfy place in the city, straddling a strain of bass-heavy house music with more in debt to the weirder end of minimal techno (think S-Max, Paradroid and Fym) than to garage. The times have finally caught up with the man also known as Lukas Cole, and perhaps this is his time to shine.

There’s no let up in the madness on this EP for the seemingly freshly minted Mimm label. “Cuckup” kicks things off with a subtle breakbeat rhythm and some interesting melodics. For a good couple of minutes everything sounds quite normal and then gradually the synths start acting up, as pitches get bent and releases get widened so that notes bleed into each other, resulting in that cartoony delirium that has always typified the Spam Chop sound. It does seem as though he’s more in control of this trickery now compared to when he was initially splurging out weirdness anyway he could.

“Frames” starts off on a surprisingly tracky note, as propulsive techno constructions loop over each other. Soon enough though the cheeky elements come into play, and you’re swept off on an odyssey of unusual sounds. “Blergz” meanwhile does lend itself to UK garage, with a deadly beat full of found sound attitude and a mean droning bassline. Once the drop comes though, it’s all-out fist-pumping action aplenty as the beats fall in line and the droning bass smartens up its act into a stupidly brilliant throb.

It’s easy to overlook just how complex and accomplished Mr. Chop’s productions are, as they wallop you round the face so overtly with their mischievous sense of fun. Many people try to keep things light-hearted and come off sounding light-weight. Spam Chop is one of the few exceptions to the rule.

Oli Warwick