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Tessela – Channel/D Jane review

In one of those rare turn-outs for the books, this Punch Drunk release isn’t the first time that Tessela has seen the light of day. Where so many releases that get snapped up for the Bristol label come from producers who arrive seemingly from nowhere and go on to become ubiquitous, Tessela already made a sizable splash with his release for All City last year. However that is the sole release to have his unique stamp on it and many more murmurs are being made about what else is set to come from the Bath-based producer, but for now you can sink your teeth into this meaty two-tracker.

The primary feeling given off by “Channel” as it whips into life is one of chunkiness. The synths slam like weighty percussion, while the box-jam beats snap and crack with an MPC kind of funk that it’s hard to achieve through simple quantising. It may be that Tessela has a knack for working the beat grid but something live seems to be at work here, in the same way that Al Tourettes tracks pop and lock with b-boy rooted flair.

The sound space that Tessela occupies is certainly a brave one, as it neglects to pander to notions of mixability and consistency, darting around in impulsive flurries of snare rushes, madcap sampling and slowly mutating melodic phrases. On “D Jane” the lead-in holds back on a relatively steady groove (albeit populated by a delirium of samples), only to jerk into the main section on a completely different swing so as to pull your ass in the opposite direction.

While the dynamics of the tracks may not be ‘DJ-friendly’ per se, these slabs of electronic ruffness would slay just about any uptempo dance in an instant. Even listening to them in the cold light of day they inspire internal moments of pure ‘what-the-fuck’ery, so stark are the ideas. Production flair like this can only promise very exciting things for the future.

Oli Warwick